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General Information

Poster for Bengal Tiger
  • Directed by

    Moises Kaufman

  • Written by

    Rajiv Joseph

  • Music composed by

    Kathryn Bostic

  • Theater

    Richard Rodgers Theatre

  • Previews start

    March 11, 2011

  • Number of performances

    132 (including 23 previews and the opening night)

  • Opening night

    March 31, 2011

  • Final night

    July 3, 2011

  • Producers

    Robyn Goodman, Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller and Center Theatre Group

  • Ticket prices

    $75 / $95 / $135 / $265 ($313 during weekends)

Main Cast

  • Robin Williams

    The Tiger

  • Glenn Davis


  • Brad Fleischer


  • Arian Moayed


  • Hrach Titizian

    Iraqi Man, Uday

  • Sheila Vand

    Iraqi Teenager, Hadia

  • Necar Zadegan

    Iraqi Woman, Leper


Bengal Tiger is billed as a "darkly comic tale narrated by a tiger held captive in the Baghdad Zoo." According to the producers, "The play follows the intertwined lives of two American marines and one Iraqi gardener as they search through the rubble of war for friendship, redemption and a toilet seat made of gold."

Promo Video

Behind the scenes


Thanks to Broadway.com


  • Bengal Tiger

    What can I do, I'm a Tiger.

  • Man

    Get out of my head!

  • Bengal Tiger

    It wasn't cruel. It was lunch

  • Bengal Tiger   Monologue, Act 2 - Scene 7

    This place is lousy with ghosts.
    And the new ones are irritating. They're walking around, wide eyed... What happened to me? Where am I? You're dead and you're in Baghdad. Shut up.

  • Anyhow, the other day, I'm walking down the street. The street is literally ON FIRE.
    And I see this little girl. Her life is like a soap bubble, and then pop! She's here, in the middle of the street, looking up at me. And she says to me: What are you? And I tell her, I'm a tiger. And she says why?

She says why.

I don't know, I tell her. I just am.
Which is true. I don't want to lie.
She asks me am I going to eat her.
And I say, no, I gave up eating children.
She says why?
And I say, I don't know, it's this philosophy I'm working out about sin and redemption since God is apparently nuts.

And the girl just kind of looks at me.

And I'm like: think about it, if God's watching, why'd he snuff you out? Why are you standing here, alone, in a burning street, with a dead tiger? Why are you dead?
Why is half your face gone?

And she says yeah, but why'd you give up eating children?

And I tell her the bit about the two kids in the forest, and how I keep thinking about them and how I have all this guilt.

She doesn't understand that. The guilt thing. She doesn't have any guilt. And I'm like, of course you don't. What did you ever do? Nothing.

She tells me she's afraid.
I tell her I am too.
Which you'd think would be comforting, given the circumstances, but somehow, being blown to bits and then coming face to face with the likes of me...
Well the girl starts to cry, you know?
Her one eye, cries.

And I say, don't cry. But she cries harder. And so I say to her: Hey do you want to see something amazing? And she stops crying for a second. And she's like, what?
And I say it's a... I tell her it's a garden.
And she looks at me as if to say, big fucking deal, like I haven't seen a garden before?
And I say, no it's a special garden.

Lights up on the topiary animals.

It's a special garden. And I don't know why I say this, but I say, it's God's garden.
I tell her it's God's garden.
He likes gardens, see. He tests us in them, he tempts us in them, he builds them up and tears them apart. It's like his fucking hobby.
And she's skeptical, I can see that, but I bring her here and she sees these plants, these animals, and she's never seen anything like them before. And I nailed it because she's not crying anymore. She's walking around the garden, pointing. A lion! A camel! An elephant!

Fucking kids, you know?

And I mean, this whole time I'm talking out of my ass, this business about God's garden, etcetera. Maybe she knows I'm bullshitting, too. The girl is no dummy, even if she does only have half a brain.
But for a second we both look up at these ruined shrubs and think, okay Man: You work in Mysterious Ways. We get it. And I feel this swell of hope.

Robin Says...

"It just hit me hard, it was so powerful. I read it, and I was going, 'I'm in. I can come into it and create it from the ground up.' "And I'm hairy enough to be a tiger, so that's good." "Most of the time most of the characters are, to be blunt, ghosts. I mean, I don't want to spoil it but right off the bat, you're in Iraq, it's all these ghosts wondering around, talking and gaining more consciousness as they continue through the play."



Extra Info

The play was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2010.

Premiered in Los Angeles, CA in 2009, where Kevin Tighe played the role of the Bengal Tiger.


  • Study Guide (4.4Mb - .pdf)
  • Wallpaper 1 (1920 x 1200)
  • Wallpaper 2 (1920 x 1200)

Box Office

  • Gross

    $2,602,246 (as of April 11, 2011)

Awards & Nominations

  • Drama League Awards May 20 | noon

    Nom - 2011 - Best Play
    Nom - 2011 - Outstanding Performance (Robin Williams)
    Nom - 2011 - Outstanding Performance (Arian Moayed)

  • Outer Critics Circle Awards May 23 | 9pm

    Nom - 2011 - Outstanding New Broadway Play
    Nom - 2011 - Outstanding Set Design (Derek McLane)
    Nom - 2011 - Outstanding Lighting Design (David Lander)

  • Drama Desk Awards May 26 | 4pm

    Nom - 2011 - Outstanding Play (Rajiv Joseph)
    Nom - 2011 - Outstanding Director of a Play (Moises Kaufman)
    Nom - 2011 - Outstanding Music in a Play (Katryn Bostic)
    Nom - 2011 - Outstanding Set Design (Derek McLane)
    Nom - 2011 - Outstanding Lighting Design (David Lander)
    Nom - 2011 - Outstanding Sound Design in a Play (Acme Sound Partners & Cricket S. Myers)

Wall of Tributes >