Award-winning playwright J.T. Rogers and longtime foreign correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran will talk about the intersection of politics, journalism, and art. Rogers's most recent play, Oslo, won seven awards, including the 2017 Tony for Best Play, and dozens of rave reviews: "as expansive and ambitious as any in recent Broadway history" (New York Times); "a riveting political thriller" (AP). Rogers transforms modern history into drama, tackling such complex subjects as the Rwandan genocide, the CIA's early involvement in war-torn Afghanistan, and racism in America. Chandrasekaran, following a career at the Washington Post that sent him to three dozen countries and led to his authoring books on Iraq (Imperial Life in the Emerald City, a National Book Award finalist), Afghanistan (Little America), and the lives of today's war veterans, is now the executive producer of Starbucks' social impact media initiatives. Both consummate storytellers, the two men collaborated on developing a TV series set in the Middle East.
J.T. Rogers’s plays include Oslo, Blood and Gifts, The Overwhelming, White People, and Madagascar. For Oslo he won the Tony, New York Critics, Outer Critics, Drama Desk, Drama League, Lortel, and Obie awards. As one of the playwrights for the Tricycle Theatre of London’s The Great Game: Afghanistan he was nominated for an Olivier Award. His works have been staged throughout the United States and in Germany, Canada, Australia, and Israel. He is a Guggenheim fellow and has received three NYFA fellowships in playwriting. Rogers is a member of the Dramatist Guild, where he is a founding board member of the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund. He is an alum of New Dramatists and holds an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a senior vice president for Public Affairs at Starbucks and the executive producer of the company’s social impact media initiatives. Prior to joining Starbucks in 2015, Rajiv was a senior correspondent and associate editor of The Washington Post, where he worked for two decades. During his newspaper career, he reported from more than three dozen countries and was bureau chief in Baghdad, Cairo and Southeast Asia. He also served as the Post’s national editor and as an assistant managing editor. In 2014, he and Howard Schultz wrote the bestselling book, "For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism and Sacrifice." He also is the author of two other bestselling books: "Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan" and "Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone," which was named one of the 10 best books of 2007 by The New York Times and inspired the movie Green Zone. He is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and a graduate of Stanford University.