"One of the best things happening in DC has to be the Mosaic Theater Company…Mosaic is giving life back to our community.
Their plays might just be as essential as air.”
-E. Ethelbert Miller, Poet
Satchmo at the Waldorf
By Terry Teachout | Directed by Eleanor Holdridge
Starring Craig Wallace
August 25—September 25, 2016
It’s March 1971 at the Waldorf Astoria, and Louis Armstrong has just played one of the final performances of his extraordinary career. Unwinding backstage, the legendary ‘Satchmo’ recounts the events—and regrets—that led him to a place of stature in danger of being stripped away. Helmed by Eleanor Holdridge and starring DC-favorite Craig Wallace, this one-man, three-character powerhouse play with music dives into the complicated relationships between Armstrong, his embattled Jewish manager Joe Glaser, and his fiercest competitor and critic, trumpeter Miles Davis.
“Fascinating…seamless, and full of surprises” (Chicago Sun Times), Satchmo at the Waldorf is an uplifting play about the price of success, the birth of jazz, and the soul of Satchmo—as you’ve never heard it before!
Milk Like Sugar
By Kirsten Greenidge | Directed by Jennifer L. Nelson
November 2-27, 2016
What’s the power of friendship in a world where young women of color have so very little? For sixteen year-old Annie Desmond, growing up in a small city is all Galaxy phones and texts from boys. But when one of her friends proudly boasts that she’s expecting, the allure of Coach diaper bags and an infant’s constant company propels the group into a life-altering “pregnancy pact.” Torn between her allegiance to the pack, her ambitions for college, and the promise of a future with a boy named Malik, Annie must make a choice for the future she wants, even if it’s not the future she’s being pushed to pursue.
Mosaic Theater Resident Director Jennifer L. Nelson (The Gospel of Lovingkindness) directs a riotous tale by Kristen Greenidge about powerful young women on the brink of maturity that “balances street with sweet, to entertaining and illuminating effect” (Los Angeles Times).
Winner of the 2012 Obie Award for Playwriting and 2011 San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Play.
By Philip Dawkins | Directed by Natsu Onoda Power
January 5-29, 2017
Meet Mama Darleena Andrews, a 67 year-old transgender woman and the inimitable etiquette instructor at “The Center,” an organization for Chicago’s homeless and LGTBQ youth. Her students are as diverse in background as they are in identity, united by a feeling of other-ness in the heart of a city that’s left them behind. But for “Mama Darlin,” triumph over poverty and prejudice begins with lacing up and fitting in—playing the part with class and with charm.
Based on the heartwarming true story of Chicago trans icon Miss Gloria Allen of the Center on Halsted, and staged by trailblazing director Natsu Onoda Power (The T Party), this touching, enchanting story of hardship, wit, and an indomitable Mama’s love is a “portrait of pain, kindness, and an LGBTQ community in transition” (Time Out Chicago).
Hooded: Or Being
Black for Dummies
By Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm | Directed by Serge Seiden
January 25—February 19, 2017
A timely, irreverent examination of growing up black in America by rising-star local playwright Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm. Marquis, a book smart prep-schooler from suburban Maryland, meets Tru, a street savvy Baltimorean, in a holding cell. Tru thinks Marquis has lost his “blackness” and pens a manual entitled Being Black for Dummies, as they navigate a world of cheerleaders, Black Lives Matter, 2Pac, Nietzsche, Apollo, and Dionysus—each vying for Marquis’ future.
Staged by Serge Seiden (When January Feels Like Summer, Bad Jews) with associate director Vaughn Ryan Midder.
South Africa: Then & Now
By Athol Fugard | Directed by Joy Zinoman
In rep with A Human Being Died That Night
March 29—April 30, 2017
The first show in Mosaic Theater’s South Africa repertory, this landmark classic from South Africa’s most acclaimed playwright, Athol Fugard, is a harrowing fable of two brothers bound by blood and separated by color. The light-skinned Morris and his darker-skinned brother Zachariah share a one-room shack in Port Elizabeth, where their childhood memories form a bond that runs deep. But when Zachariah’s pen-pal, a white woman, announces her intention to meet him in person, it is Morris who cloaks himself in the clothes and mannerisms he learned while “passing” in white society in order to pose as his brother.
Helmed by Studio Theatre founding artistic director Joy Zinoman, Blood Knot is “a contemporary classic…as both a deeply human experience and a symbolic statement on the anguish of Apartheid” (New York Times).
South Africa: Then & Now
A Human Being Died That Night
By Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela | Adapted by Nicholas Wright
Directed by Logan Vaughn
In rep with Blood Knot
April 6-30, 2017
The second part of Mosaic Theater’s South Africa repertory, this tense confrontation recounts the black, African psychologist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela’s gripping interrogations of Apartheid-era torturer and assassin Eugene de Kock, known by many as “Prime Evil.”
Adapted for the stage by Nicholas Wright from Gobodo-Madikizela’s best-selling 2003 book, this taut cross-examination is “a scorching look at Apartheid guilt” (The Guardian) in a deeply wounded South Africa, and the pained negotiations between past and future in a country aching to move on.
Voices From a Changing Middle East
Ulysses on Bottles
By Gilad Evron | Translated by Evan Fallenberg
Directed by Serge Seiden
May 18—June 11, 2017
Launching the 2017 Voices Festival marking 50 years of The Occupation, the Israeli playwright Gilad Evron’s poetic and poignant play recounts the fallout when an Israeli-Arab ex-teacher, nicknamed Ulysses, attempts to sail into Gaza on a raft made of plastic bottles, bearing with him a cargo of Dostoyevksy’s Crime and Punishment. Paired with a successful Israeli-Jewish attorney who takes his case pro bono, Ulysses on Bottles is a tale of two worlds colliding over Gaza, in which the profound implication of privilege and access in one of the hotbeds of the world intersect with surprising sympathy and humor.
This captivating story is “an allegory on the definition of freedom—what it means, what it entails and what it demands” (The Jerusalem Post). Winner of Israel Theater Prize’s Best Original Play in 2012.
Originally produced in the United States by Israeli Stage, in association with ArtsEmerson.
Voices From a Changing Middle East
By Hanna Eady & Edward Mast | Directed by John Vreeke
June 7—July 2, 2017
A gripping mystery set in a run-down automobile repair shop in old Herzliya, this American premiere by Palestinian playwright Hanna Eady and Seattle-based writer with Edward Mast elegantly dramatizes the smoldering tension between a Palestinian mechanic and an attracted, conflicted Israeli Jewish woman from his past.
Four Pinteresque scenes deftly unfold a story of love, betrayal, guilt, and challenge.
Mosaic Workshop Series
The Black Jew Thing
By Stacey Rose & Alexis Spiegel
Directed by Logan Vaughn
September 25-26, 2016
Two playwrights, one Black, the other Jewish, test the boundaries of interracial friendship the only way they know how - by trying to write a play. Brutally honest, utterly absurd and deeply tender, this meta-theatrical experiment leaves nothing unsaid.
Quid Pro Quo
By Garrett Zuercher
November 14 (at the Atlas)
November 20 (at Gallaudet University)
A play from the Deaf Community that flips the script, exploring what it's like to live in another person’s shoes. A roller coaster of a dramatic ride that leaves you thinking, seeing, and hearing differently.
Ism: A Tragicomedy
By Anu Yadav
Directed by Paige Hernandez
February 6-7, 2017
A series of dramatic and comedic sketches about identity, racism, sexism, economic crisis, body hair, and other light topics. Featuring perspectives of some women of the global majority (also known as women of 'color'). Warning: this show may cause discomfort and nausea to those with undiagnosed white male entitlement (among other chronic conditions). It also does not represent the views of all brown women who ever lived.
By Anat Gov
Translated by Anthony Berris
Adapted by Guy Ben-Aharon
Directed by Michael Bloom
Featuring Rick Foucheux & Holly Twyford
June 26-27, 2017
In this gently veiled analogy, God comes knocking on the office door of a psychotherapist and single mother named Ella; both of whom have been battling low-grade depression. With a clash of quotes from Genesis and the Prophets, framed by a modern-day wit, two-time winner of the Israeli Theatre Award for Best Comedy Anat Gov brings a “funny...often brilliant text” (The Jerusalem Post) that forces us to grapple with the balance between power and humility. Oh God was translated by Anthony Berris, English language adaptation by Guy Ben Aharon.