As a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2010, The Washington Post described Rajiv Joseph’s play “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” as “a wholly original black comedy, and a fittingly disquieting metaphor for the anguishing entanglements of the American invasion of Iraq.”
This darkly comic tale, set in Baghdad during the early stages of the Iraq War in 2003, is narrated by a tiger in a cage of the bombed-out zoo. As the last surviving carnivore, he hunkers down and wonders how in heaven’s name he has wound up trapped behind hostile lines, thousands of miles from home. In the fog of war, the lives of two American marines and an Iraqi gardener become intertwined. Amidst the chaos and confusion of the invasion aftermath, they seek friendship, redemption and a toilet seat made of gold.