Rutgers Theater Company stages "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" Nov. 6-18

The Rutgers Theater Company’s opening of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo has been postponed. The play will open Tuesday, November 6, at 8 p.m. Performances will be Tuesday, November 6, through Saturday, November 10, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 11, at 2 p.m. as originally scheduled, and Friday and Saturday, November 16 and 17, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 18, at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the November 2-through-4 performances will be honored at the November 16-through-18 dates respectively.  If you cannot make those performances, tickets may be exchanged into a different performance at no charge.  Please contact the ticket office at 732-932-7511 for more information.

The Rutgers Theater Company explores the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq in a production of Rajiv Joseph’s violently funny, devastating Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. The show runs from Tuesday, November 6, through Sunday, November 18, 2012. Mark Cirnigliaro directs.

Joseph employs a trenchant mix of comedy and tragedy in his examination of the lives of two U.S. Marines and an Iraqi gardener, all operating in a charged atmosphere in which violence may erupt at any moment. The show is narrated by a tiger in captivity.

 “War makes you primal,” Cirnigliaro insists. “It’s eat or be eaten. It strips away anything superfluous and helps us to look at the larger questions. It takes away all the little stuff we busy ourselves with.”

Cirnigliaro says that the central question each character grapples with, regardless of cultural differences, is: “In a war-time setting, how do I behave? Do I still hold onto a moral code, or are we reduced to the animals? Even in the direst of circumstances, do we still have a choice?”

But as weighty as these issues can be, Cirnigliaro is quick to point out that Bengal Tiger is not relentlessly didactic.

“It’s not precious,” he says. “It’s not getting up on a soapbox. Joseph is doing it through tense, funny stuff. This is epic, irreverent, magical.”

Learn more about the 2012 Rutgers Theater Company season.

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo runs from Tuesday, November 6, through Sunday, November 18. Performances are 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for Rutgers alumni and employees and seniors and only $15 for students with valid ID. The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. For more information about any Mason Gross event, and to learn more about the 2012-2013 season at Mason Gross Performing Arts Center and Galleries, visit, or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 732-932-7511.

Media inquiries: Laurie Granieri, 848-932-5239.