Theatre News: Mosaic Theater Company Announces 2024-2025 Season

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill 

By Lanie Robertson 
Directed by Reginald L. Douglas
September 5-October 6, 2024

Journey back to 1959 for an unforgettable rendezvous with Lady Day herself—the incomparable Billie Holiday performed by DC legend Roz White, in the role she was born to play. The Helen Hayes Award-winning White just completed the national tour of TINA: The Tina Turner Musical. Featuring classics such as “God Bless the Child” and “Strange Fruit,” this acclaimed play with music transports you into a small bar in Philadelphia for one of the icon’s final concerts, transforming the theater into an immersive nightclub. Building on the success of Mosaic’s past productions Twisted Melodies and The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, this fresh production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill explores the triumphs and traumas of Holiday’s life and career while celebrating the resilience of Black women throughout history. 

Produced in partnership with Washington Performing Arts. 

The Art of Care

Conceived and Directed by Derek Goldman 
October 31-November 24, 2024 

One of the most profound experiences we all share is how we care for, and are cared for by, others. Created from interviews and interactions with caregivers, medical professionals, policymakers, and everyday citizens, The Art of Care is a world premiere theatrical event exploring this common thread of our humanity. Featuring an ensemble of all-star DC performers, this genre-breaking devised play uses movement, music, and multimedia to create an interactive exploration of our global need for care and community. The performance is devised using The Lab’s signature “In Your Shoes” process, developed around the world by director and long-time Mosaic collaborator Derek Goldman, in which the actors perform one another’s intimate stories and perspectives, inviting us into their own personal worlds to deepen our understanding of our own. Featuring a powerhouse DC cast including Jabari Exum, Billie Krishawn*, Raghad Mahklouf, Tuyet Pham*, Susan Rome* and Tom Story*. 

Produced in partnership with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University and developed in collaboration with The Global Health Institute; School of Health; School of Nursing; and Medical Humanities Initiative at Georgetown University. 

* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

cullad wattah

By Erika Dickerson-Despenza 
Directed by Danielle A. Drakes 
Apri 3-27, 2025

It is 2016 and it has been 936 days and counting since Flint, Michigan, has had clean water. Third-generation General Motors employee Marion finds herself on the cusp of a promotion until her sister begins participating in protests accusing the company of poisoning the water. Forced to confront their past and weigh their limited options for the future, the family finds their tight-knit unit threatened by more than just the toxicity of the water. This powerful new play by Princess Grace Award winner Erika Dickerson-Despenza deconstructs the linear passage of time to ponder the choices we make for the sake of our survival. cullud wattah uses “lyrical prose laced with humor … and lively and warmhearted characters” (New York Times) to honor the people behind the headlines. The play won the 2021 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Andy Warhol in Iran

By Brent Askari 
Directed by Serge Seiden 
May 29-June 29, 2025

In 1976, pop artist Andy Warhol travels to Tehran to paint a portrait of the Shah of Iran’s wife. Amidst taking in the Crown Jewels and indulging in room service caviar, Warhol encounters a young Persian revolutionary, who throws his plans into turmoil. A thought-provoking new comedy full of insight and imagination, Andy Warhol in Iran by award-winning playwright Brent Askari affirms the power of art to transcend boundaries and connect across cultures and time. Serge Seiden returns to direct after popular productions of Hooded and Eureka Day.

Special Co-Production: Out of Character

Written and performed by Ari’el Stachel 
Directed by Tony Taccone 
Theater J and Mosaic Theater present the Berkeley Rep Production of Out of Character with further development from Theater J and Mosaic 
January 8-26, 2025

Tony Award-winner Ari’el Stachel’s one-man show brings to life a full ensemble of characters from his past, bringing uproarious laughter, insight, and transformative performance to illuminate what it means to pursue–and accept–our complex identity. From hilarious sweat-gland cures to earnest investigations, Out of Character weaves an expansive autobiographical tale of mixed ethnicity, mental health, and success–all to the tune of relentless humor and extraordinary talent. Mosaic Theater subscribers will get exclusive access to this production performed at Theater J.

Reflection Series

Accompanying all of these productions will be Mosaic’s landmark Reflection Series programming—a series of special events, panels, and conversations that highlight the themes of Mosaic’s plays, build innovative partnerships with local and national organizations, and engage diverse audiences in dialogue with one another. Partners include Busboys and Poets, the Morris Cafritz Center for Social Responsibility at the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center, DC Public Library, DC History Center, Georgetown University Racial Justice Institute, Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, Howard University, Smithsonian National Museums, Team Rayceen, and more (to be announced).

Catalyst Series Workshops, Commissions and Events 

The season will be punctuated throughout with Catalyst Series new play development activities. 


By Marilyn Ness 
Directed by Sheryl Kaller 
Produced in association with Beth Levison 
September 8-12, 2024 

Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Marilyn Ness’ playwriting debut, POSTMORTEM, combines true crime with family drama to tell a story about one woman’s reckoning with her difficult childhood. Inventively introducing documentary filmmaking techniques to live theater, POSTMORTEM is a brave and imaginative new play in process that engages audiences in the playwright’s own efforts to heal. POSTMORTEM, the play, will be accompanied by POSTMORTEM, the documentary—a film about art-making and what it can do to release and heal us from real-world harm. 

Produced in association with Beth Levison, with the generous support of Cedar Creek Productions, the Fishman Family Foundation, Folk Productions, InMaat Productions, and the JS Plank and DM DiCarlo Family Foundation. Also made possible with the support of the Catapult Film Fund, Jewish Story Partners, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Sundance Institute in collaboration with Sandbox Films, and select individuals.

Trish Vrandenburg New Play Commission – Paige Hernandez 

The latest recipient of this special commission to support women writers, inaugural Victor Shargai Leadership Award winner Paige Hernandez will bring her unique artistry to Mosaic in 2025. In partnership with the Kennedy Center’s Local Theater Residency program, the acclaimed DC-based playwright, performer, and director will develop and share her latest theatrical piece which blends music and movement together with original narrative to create a wholly unique story about the power of language. 

The Trish Vradenburg New Play Commission Program is generously underwritten by the Vradenburg Foundation.

Alumni Artist In Residence
As a part of the 10th Anniversary Season, Mosaic will host an Alumni Artist In Residence to honor the artists who have helped build the theater up to Season 10. This residency will provide the space and resources for an artist to create new work including a generous honorarium, dramaturgical support, a developmental workshop with actors if desired, and opportunities for creative rejuvenation including meetings with local artists and artistic leaders, visits to museums and the Library of Congress, and time for rest. 

High School Playwriting Contest 
Mosaic continues its work to uplift and inspire the next generation of great playwrights through its High School Playwriting Contest. Open to 9th-12th grade students in the Washington, DC-metro area, including Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Northern Virginia, the contest culminates in a public reading of the winning submissions held at a branch of the DC Public Library and led by a director and working actors. 

Community-Engaged Theater Fund 
Building on the success of the H Street Oral History Project, Mosaic is launching the Community-Engaged Theater Fund to support the ongoing development of new work that allows artists and community members to creatively collaborate in innovative ways. Led by Mosaic’s Mellon Foundation Playwright-in-Residence Psalmayene 24, fund-supported projects will feature local and national artists working directly with DC residents to create theater that furthers conversations on social justice, racial diversity, and the importance of community. 

The Community-Engaged Theater Fund is generously underwritten by the Eugene M. Lang Foundation and Ken Grossinger & Micheline Klagsbrun. 

About Mosaic Theater Company of DC

Mosaic Theater Company of DC produces bold, culturally diverse theater that illuminates critical issues, elevates fresh voices, and sparks connection among communities throughout our region and beyond. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Reginald L. Douglas and Managing Director Serge Seiden, Mosaic produces plays that both entertain and enlighten, using art to build empathy amongst diverse people united by the magic of theater, and hopes to build community by reflecting the many cultures that call DC home.

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