Syracuse Stage announces appointment of Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj as associate artistic director
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Timothy Bond, producing artistic director of Syracuse Stage, recently announced the appointment of Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj as associate artistic director of Syracuse Stage, effective Aug. 1. Maharaj is an award-winning director, writer and producer, and has been featured in numerous publications, including American Theatre magazine. He is slated to direct the holiday production “Godspell” in Syracuse Stage’s upcoming 36th season.
As associate artistic director, Maharaj will serve as advisor and proxy for Bond. His responsibilities will include assisting with season planning for Syracuse Stage and the Department of Drama in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts; directing shows for Syracuse Stage and the Department of Drama; assisting in the search for directors, designers, playwrights and actors; acting as an ambassador for Syracuse Stage in developing community partnerships and artistic programs; participating in local and national auditions; mentoring students in the Department of Drama; and serving as artistic advisor of the Department of Drama’s Black Box Theatre.
Bond has followed Maharaj’s career and has corresponded with him for several years. “I immediately recognized the work of a rising star in theater, and I’m simply overjoyed at his acceptance of this position,” says Bond, who sees Maharaj’s appointment as an important step for Syracuse Stage. “Rajendra is full of fresh and innovative ideas, with a keen sense of presenting to a wide variety of audiences. He also offers years of experience directing in New York City and around the country, and his seasoned style and magnetic personality will undoubtedly bring increased exposure to the great work being done here in Central New York.”
“I am very thrilled that Tim and Jeff [Woodward, managing director of Syracuse Stage] asked me to come on board, as I have respected both of them for many years as artists and activists in the American theater. For me, this is a great blessing,” says Maharaj. “As a New York theater artist it is a wonderful opportunity to be able to work at what I consider to be the premiere regional theater in the state. To share my talents and gifts in this unique way and to be connected to this exciting chapter at Syracuse Stage, which has been filled with new energy, excitement and dynamic leadership, is a dream come true. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to share my craft with young American theater artists who will hopefully grow into ambassadors for Syracuse University and Syracuse Stage in the future.”
Maharaj is co-founder and producing artistic director of Rebel Theater in New York City (http://www.rebeltheater.org). He will continue holding this position in conjunction with his new appointment at Syracuse Stage.
His directing credits include The Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Lark Play Development Center, New Federal Theatre, Second Stage, Making Books Sing and Here. He was assistant to the director on the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” at the Royale Theatre and is a former director in training of the daytime Emmy Award-winning directing team at ABC’s “All My Children.” His regional credits include Freedom Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, St. Louis Black Rep, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Prince Musical Theatre, Theatre of the Stars, The Goodman Theatre and New London Barn Playhouse.
Maharaj has been a visiting lecturer at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, where he taught directing and acting. He has also held artistic residencies with The Public Theater, Freedom Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Crossroads Theatre, Lark Play Development Center, Arkansas Repertory Theatre and Amas Musical Theatre.
As a writer, Maharaj has penned several plays, including “It Happened in Little Rock,” “Mississippi Night,” “Diss Diss & Diss Dat,” “Twenty-Five,” “Gray” and “BlackfootNotes.” He is the co-conceiver of the spoken word plays “Exposures,” “History of the Word” and “Union Square.”
Maharaj is the recipient of several prestigious grants and awards, including the Woodie King Jr. Award for Outstanding Direction, four AUDELCO (Audience Development Committee Inc.) awards for his direction and choreography, and 14 AUDELCO nominations over his career.