Tanya Shaffer: Writer, Performer, Traveler
Baby Taj
A Romantic Comedy
by Tanya Shaffer
"I've dreamed you for so long, I can hardly believe you're with me now. Yet here you are: a tiny human voyager, sleeping off the shock of migration..."
Thirty-seven years old and single, Rachel Freed is a freelance travel writer and chronic commitmentphobe who longs to have a baby. After a string of failed romances, she makes a pact with her best friend Anjali, a single Indian lesbian, that they will both artificially inseminate and raise their children together. But at the moment of truth, Rachel wiggles out of her commitment to her friend (literally!) and accepts a writing assignment in Agra, India, home of both the Taj Mahal and Anjali's eccentric extended family. There, amidst the glittering relics of India's past and the noisy complexity of its present, Rachel is forced to confront her demons. Alive with the sounds and colors of an extraordinary culture, this bittersweet romantic comedy raises provocative questions about love, friendship, family, and what it means to be "ready" to be a parent.

Baby Taj had developmental readings at Jeffrey Bihr Studio in Berkeley, California; The Lark Theatre in New York City; and TheatreWorks in Mountain View, California. It premiered at TheatreWorks in October, 2005, in a production directed by Matt August, to great critical acclaim. It was selected as one of the Top Ten Shows of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune, and the San Jose Mercury News, and nominated for an American Theatre Critics' Association Steinberg Award and a Bay Area Theatre Critics' Award.
"Baby Taj" is now available in print from Samuel French, Inc.! Order Your Copy
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Baby Taj Home
- San Francisco Chronicle
- Oakland Tribune
- San Jose Mercury News
FEATURE:   Read a preview article about Tanya and “Baby Taj” in the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook.
"A captivating inquiry into love and freedom... Thrives on a witty, probing clash between freethinking modernity and tradition."
- Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle
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"A bundle of cross-cultural joy… Marries the breezy cynicism of the now with the eternal power of India... [Shaffer's] ear for mod-groovy lingo gives the play a to-die-for sparkle."
- Karen D'Souza, San Jose Mercury News
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"...Filled with a savvy traveler's enthusiasm for the cultural and historical rewards of her journey."
- Chad Jones, Oakland Tribune
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"...Depicts the characters in all their contradictions and with such clarity that the humorous result is full of delicate reflections on caring and family."
- Marianne Messina, Silicon Valley Metro
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"It's refreshing to come across a playwright who is able to write so honestly about life...Witty, poignant and frequently funny... It's hard not to get swept away."
- Julie O'Shea, Mountain View Voice
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"Provocative and true, laced with snappy dialogue…"
- Jeanie Forte, Palo Alto Weekly
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"A beautiful play...[Shaffer] has brilliantly integrated theatricality through the story of...the building of this famous fairy tale palace."
- Richard Connema, Talkin Broadway
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"****... Perfectly spiced with quirky characters, humor, and romance."
- Janet Bein, Tango Diva
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"...As moving and provocative as anything I've seen by Terrence McNally... It's hard for Westerners to write about India...with language and situations that that ring true - but I was 100% convinced by the honesty and insight of Shaffer's play..."
- Jeff Greenwald Blog
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  TheatreWorks, 2005   Directed by Matt August
Set Design: Joe Ragey
  Costume Design: Fumiko Bielefeldt
Lighting Design: Pamila Gray

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