• Mosaic Theater

Red State, Blue State



These days, do you ever feel like you have no idea how to talk to your friends or family on "the other side of the aisle?"

We sure do.

To help us navigate the current thorny political climate, we are having a series of post-show discussions following our performances of Vicuña & The American Epilogue with political thinkers of all backgrounds called "Red State, Blue State." The first discussion in this series will be on November 11th after the 3 PM matinee. The discussion will be facilitated by Parisa Parsa, the Executive Director of Essential Partners, and will feature Mike Lane (former Virginia state legislator), David Shipler (author), and Congressman Jamie Raskin.

Congressman Jamie Raskin proudly represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district includes parts of Montgomery, Carroll, and Frederick Counties. Raskin was sworn in to the 115th Congress on January 3, 2017.Congressman Raskin is the Vice-Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and serves on two Judiciary subcommittees: the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice; and the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigation. He also serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the Committee on House Administration. Raskin is the Freshman Representative on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, the Congressional Progressive Caucus Vice Chair and Liaison to New Members, and a Senior Whip for the House Democratic Caucus.For more than 25 years, Congressman Raskin has been a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law. He authored several books, including the Washington Post best-seller Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People and the highly-acclaimed We the Students: Supreme Court Cases For and About America’s Students, which has sold more than 50,000 copies.Prior to his time in Congress, Jamie was a three-term State Senator in Maryland, where he also served as the Senate Majority Whip. He quickly earned a reputation for building coalitions in Annapolis, and delivered a series of landmark legislative accomplishments.Congressman Raskin is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Sarah Bloom Raskin, live in Takoma Park with their dog, Potter. They have three children: Tabitha, Tommy, and Hannah.

Michael Lane is a Republican political consultant based in Alexandria, Virginia. His clients include candidates for public office at the statewide, local and municipal levels. In 1999, Mr. Lane was elected as a Member of the Arlington County Board and to this day remains the only nominated Republican elected to any office at any level in Arlington County since 1969. Mr. Lane also provides domestic political commentary having appeared on all local DC television stations multiple times and is now a frequent contributor on DC’s Fox 5 station. Additionally, Lane provides foreign policy commentary on numerous pan-Arab stations including al Jazeera, al Amal, and Iran’s state-owned English language station Press TV. He has also appeared on Lebanese, Turkish, Egyptian and Chinese television. Prior to elective politics, Mike had a career in issue advocacy at the federal level and developed expertise in both health and energy issues. Mr. Lane has a degree in political science from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. Saint Anselm may be familiar to many as the quadrennial host of New Hampshire presidential debates. Originally from Long Island, New York, Mike has called Northern Virginia home for 40 years.

David Shipler is an American author who won the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction in 1987 for Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land. Formerly, he was a foreign correspondent of the New York Times. He has taught at many colleges and universities and publishes the journal The Shipler Report.

Parisa Parsa Parisa joined Essential Partners as the Executive Director in early 2015. She brings years of congregational, denominational, and non-profit leadership, focused on training and cultivating others as leaders to build strong, healthy organizations. Prior to joining Essential Partners, Parisa served as the Director of Congregational Development for the New England Unitarian Universalist Association, providing leadership development, training tools and resources for mission-focused planning and change management for ministers and congregations. An ordained minister, Parisa led a mid-sized congregation in Milton, Massachusetts for ten years, and has served in leadership roles for faith-based and social service organizations across the country. She is also an experienced facilitator and intercultural consultant, training nonprofit staff teams and congregations working to develop skills at culture change toward greater intercultural relationships within their communities.


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