Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

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Bengal_smallBengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

Written by Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Bill English

In this Pulitzer Prize finalist, two US Marines and an Iraqi translator are thrust into a world of greed, mystery and betrayal after an encounter with a now-deceased but still very pissed-off tiger. The streets of war-torn Baghdad are filled with ghosts, riddles and wry humor in this groundbreaking play that explores the power and perils of human nature. Read the Press Release

“Rajiv Joseph’s smart, savagely funny and visionary new work of American theater”-The New York Times


The Cast

KurosKuros Charney*(Musa) is pleased to be making his San Francisco Playhouse debut. As an actor, he has performed on the New York stage at Theatre Row, Urban Stages, and 13th Street Repertory. He is also an award-winning playwright whose work has been seen at the Stella Adler Theatre, the WorkShop Theater, and the William Inge Center for the Arts, among others, and is a screenwriter and filmmaker whose work has been featured at the Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals. He holds an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and would like to thank his family for their love and support.



Livia Demarchi (Hadia/Prostitute) is thrilled to be making her San Francisco Playhouse debut in this thought provoking play.  Livia has trained at the Macunaima Theater Conservatory in São Paulo, Brazil and locally with ACT. Some of her Favorite credits include: Desdemona in Othello and Helena in Midsummer Night’s Dream with Ninjaz of Drama, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet and Gertrude in Hamlet with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s Shakespeare on tour, and Reverend Maple in Moby Dick, the Musical with Theater Rhinoceros. She thanks her husband Lauren and her family for their love and support as well as her children, Lu and Gi for reminding her to be playful and open in a complex adult world.


Pomme Koch (Uday/Iraqi Man) Born and raised in Mill Valley, Pomme is thrilled to be making his San Francisco debut. Regional credits include Much Ado About Nothing at The Shakespeare Theatre, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo at The Round House Theatre, Henry V at The Folger Shakespeare Theatre and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at The Studio Theatre. Pomme recently collaborated with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on a new symphonic play, A Composer Fit for a King, and will appear in the second season of Netflix’s House of Cards. BFA Theatre Performance, the University of Michigan. Go Blue.


Gabriel Marin* (Tom) is delighted to return to the San Francisco Playhouse where he was previously seen in The MotherF**ker with the Hat, Wirehead, Landscape of the Body, Bug, Jesus Hopped the A Train, and Our Lady of 121st St. Credits over the past year include This is How it Goes at Aurora Theatre, Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World at Center REP, The Happy Ones at Magic Theatre, and It’s a Wonderful Life at Marin Theatre Company. Locally Marin has appeared with American Conservatory Theater, Aurora Theatre Company, Bay Area Playwrights Foundation, Black Box Theatre, Center REP, Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, PlayGround, San Francisco Fringe Festival, San Jose Rep, San Francisco Playhouse, TheatreWorks, The Jewish Theatre, Thick Description, Word for Word, Z Space, among others. Mr. Marin was named Best Actor by the East Bay Express in their “Best of The East Bay 2010”. Mr, Marin was named as co-MVP for 2011 by Sam Hurwitt (, Marin Independent Journal, KQED). He has performed on NBC, CBS, PBS and the BBC.


Craig Marker* (Kev) returns to San Francisco Playhouse having performed in critically acclaimed productions of reasons to be prettyWirehead, the Story, and First Person Shooter. Regionally, Mr. Marker has performed for Portland Center Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, California Shakespeare Theater, TheatreWorks, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and Center REPertory Company. His Bay Area credits have included playing Iago in Othello, Jim in Glass Menagerie, and Trigorin in Seagull at Marin Theatre Company; Henry in Henry V and Posthumous/Cloten in Cymbeline at San Francisco Shakespeare Festival; and Macbeth at Shotgun Players. Mr. Marker originated the role of Daniel Reeves in Bill Cain’s Award-Winning play, 9 Circles, at Marin Theatre Company. Mr. Marker’s television and film credits include Trauma; Bye-Bye, Bin Laden; Generic Thriller; and Night of Henna. Mr. Marker is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

WillWill Marchetti* (Tiger) has been acting in the Bay Area since he was a young man at Les Abott’s San Francisco Theatre Company. Over his career, he has performed in theatres all over the Bay Area including ACT, Berkeley Rep, Theatreworks, The Magic Theatre, and Marin Theatre Company where he was Artistic Director for many years. He’s also performed in regional theatres in Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and New York. He was last seen inThe Last Romance at San Jose Rep as Ralph.  Over the course of his career, Mr. Marchetti has been privileged to originate roles in many world premiere plays, including Dr. Stoner in The Psychic Life of Savages and the Old Man in Fool for Love. More recently, Mr. Marchetti has also been writing plays. Two of his plays – The Agreement (Phoenix Theatre) and Lil’ Darlin’ (San Jose Stage) – have been produced in the Bay Area to positive acclaim. Mr. Marchetti thanks his wife, Susan, and the rest of his family and friends who keep coming back for more. A big “thank you” to San Francisco Playhouse for the opportunity to play the unusual role of the Tiger with a great ensemble cast.


Sarita Ocon (Woman/Leper) is an actor, visual artist, and educator. She is thrilled to be making her San Francisco Playhouse debut. Theatrical credits include collaborations with African American Shakespeare Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Bindlestiff Studio, BRAVA Theater, California Shakespeare Theater, Christine Marie & Ensemble, Golden Thread Productions, the Hybrid Performance Experiment Collective (HyPE) performing guerrilla theatre on BART trains and public spaces, The Playwrights Foundation, The Public Theater NY Residency at Stanford, San Francisco International Arts Festival, ShadowLight Productions, Shotgun Players, Stanford Summer Theater, Teatro Visión and many others.  Sarita holds a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity from Stanford University, and was a recipient of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts Fellowship in 2004.

Buy Tickets

Photos by Jessica Palopoli

*Member of AEA

Watch the Trailer:

Listen to Bengal Tiger stars Craig Marker and Gabriel Marin on KALW’s Open Air:

What the critics are saying about Bengal Tiger:


“It’s funny. It’s poignant, sometimes both at once.” – SF Chronicle

“A brilliant, offbeat story, terrific performances as well as excellent direction” – SF Theater Blog

“Its provocative power is undeniable.” – Theater Dogs

“Bengal Tiger playwright Rajiv Joseph was just awarded the Steinberg Playwright Award … based on the power and brute force of this play now on the Playhouse boards, the prize is well-deserved.” – Bay Area Reporter

“The San Francisco Playhouse’s rendition of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo is a tale of grand proportions with a touch of Shakespearean drama.” – KQED

“Few have dared to confront the absurdity of war with as much imagination as Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo… enough cannot be said about English’s ingenuity and vision.” –Aslan Media

Opens: Oct 5, 2013

Closes: Nov 16, 2013

Run time: 2 hours plus one ten-minute intermission

Show Times: Tuesday – Thursday at 7pm, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 3pm & 8pm, Select Sundays at 2pm.

Tickets: $20 – $100