Rajiv Joseph builds mystery in 'Mr. Wolf,' set for South Coast Repertory

Rajiv Joseph builds mystery in 'Mr. Wolf,' set for South Coast Repertory
Playwright Rajiv Joseph has two plays in teh works, with "Mr. Wolf" up first, and has also co-written a film comedy. "I tend to keep a lot of pots boiling," he says. (Christina House / For The Times)

"Mr. Wolf," the new drama from Rajiv Joseph, is a play about family, faith and loss. But beyond that, the writer wants to keep the audience in the dark as much as possible.

"Part of the impact of the play hinges on a big reveal," said Joseph. "It's to my liking they don't know much about it."

The play was developed at South Coast Repertory, and the Costa Mesa company will present its world premiere staging this spring, with a run scheduled to open on April 17.

"Mr. Wolf" revolves primarily around a 17-year-old girl named Theresa and a spiritual journey she embarks upon with a mysterious individual.

Joseph, who lives in New York, said that his Catholic background figured prominently in his writing process. He said the play tackles "the way people relate to their belief systems, whether it's an utter faith in God or atheism, and how those two sets of beliefs are at such odds with each other."

Since the Broadway run of his drama "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo," which was also produced twice in Los Angeles by Center Theatre Group, Joseph has kept busy with projects for the stage and screen.

The writer has another play coming out — "Guards at the Taj," which will be seen at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2016 after a debut at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York.

And he will soon be jetting to Morocco for the shooting of a comedy feature he co-wrote about a man who tried to kill Osama bin Laden on his own.

"I tend to keep a lot of pots boiling," said Joseph. "I'm kind of a binge writer."