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The eight amazing plays in Mosaic’s Season 5 offer up Stages of Awakening— urgent, exhilarating and humble — that hurtle our characters, and by extension, us, forward to new levels of awareness, puncturing bubbles of pretention along the way. To be “woke” is to be no longer in the dark about what’s happening around us; about the systems of oppression and persistence of racism that permeate daily life.  But it can be tricky terrain, these states of “wokeness,” leading to pats-on-the-back of self-congratulations and new forms of denial.  Our extraordinary playwrights are hip to our follies and foibles, just as they’re poised to wake us up to the realities of our moment and the relevance of history still knocking on our door...   

 

Learn more about Mosaic's 5th Season

FABULATION

OR, THE RE-EDUCATION OF UNDINE

By Lynn Nottage | Directed by Eric Ruffin
 

August 21 - September 22, 2019*

Two-time Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Genius Award recipient Lynn Nottage’s satirical tale that follows successful African-American publicist Undine, as she stumbles down the social ladder after her husband steals her hard-earned fortune. Broke and now pregnant, Undine is forced to return to her childhood home in the projects, where she must face the realities of the life she left behind. Penned with “the firecracker snap of unexpected humor" (New York Times), Fabulation reveals the folly of outrunning where we come from, and the challenge of returning home.


"Delightful and very funny, delivering sharp observations about social and racial identity."
- Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

Lead Underwriters: Leonade Jones with The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation

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THEORY

By Norman Yeung | Directed by Victoria Murray Baatin

 

October 23 - November 17, 2019*

Isabelle, a young tenure-track professor, tests the limits of free speech by encouraging her students to contribute to an unmoderated discussion group. When an anonymous student posts offensive comments and videos, Isabelle must decide whether to intervene or let the social experiment play out. Soon the posts turn abusive and threatening, leading Isabelle and her unknown tormentor to engage in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse that not only have Isabelle questioning her beliefs, but fearing for her life.

 

“Turns a free-speech debate at a university into a techno-thriller. Norman Yeung's Theory is the right play for the right time.” - Globe and Mail, Toronto

Lead Underwriters: Debbie Carliner and Robert Remes. Additional support from The Embassy of Canada

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EUREKA DAY

By Jonathan Spector | Directed by Serge Seiden

December 4 - January 5, 2020*

At Eureka Day School in Berkeley, CA, all decisions are made by consensus, diversity and inclusion are valued, and vaccinations are a personal matter, until a mumps outbreak hits the school. Now the board of directors must confront the central question: how do you find consensus when you can’t agree on the facts?

 

"Uproarious! Jonathan Spector's play is so crisply defined that you might have to periodically remind yourself that you haven't already met these characters in real life..." - San Francisco Chronicle

"There’s a scene toward the end of the first act in Jonathan Spector’s world premiere that’s so funny — the audience will likely be laughing so loudly — that you won’t hear a word of the dialogue."
- San Francisco Examiner

Lead Underwriter: Marvin Weissberg

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PILGRIMS MUSA & SHERI

IN THE NEW WORLD

By Yussef El Guindi | Directed by Shirley Serotsky

Part of Mosaic's long running Voices From A Changing Middle East Festival

January 16 - February 16, 2020*

From the Egyptian-American winner of the Steinberg New American Play Award comes a romantic comedy about Muslim and American identity full of unexpected twists. Musa, a new immigrant from Egypt who drives a cab, picks up Sheri, a boisterous, quirky waitress after her shift and a night of improbable passion turns into an extended labyrinth of cultural assumptions upended.

 

"A Romeo and Juliet story—an Annie Hall story, a West Side Story story—for Americans in the 21st century. And perhaps for all people in this back-and-forth, from-one-home-to-another, permanently globalized world." —Stranger (Seattle)

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INHERIT THE WINDBAG

By Alexandra Petri | Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner

Recipient of a Trish Vradenburg Play Commission

Part of Locally Grown Mosaic

March 11 - March 29, 2020*

WORLD PREMIERE: In the summer of 1968, liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley met for a series of debates that rocked America and re-defined the genre of punditry. Now, for one evening only, Vidal and Buckley meet in the Dismal Beyond (also known as the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA) to reprise their infamous debate. What ensues is a battle for history itself, in a no-holds-barred sesquipedalian brawl and satirical battle of wits, assisted by an ever-revolving cast of characters from Aaron Burr to Ayn Rand.

 

“Playwright and Washington Post humorist Alexandra Petri once again delivers a delightfully and deliriously funny production.” – Washington City Paper

Lead Underwriter: The Vradenburg Foundation

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THE TILL TRILOGY

By Ifa Bayeza | Directed by Talvin Wilks

 

 April 1 - June 21, 2020*

Made possible by a generous grant from The Roy Cockrum Foundation

The now legendary story of Emmett “Bo” Till is believed by many to be the start of the modern civil rights movement of the 1950s and remains one of the most pivotal incidents in a monumental era.

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PART I. THE BALLAD OF EMMETT TILL

April 1 - June 20, 2020

Bayeza’s Edgar Award-winning drama recounts the last two weeks of young Emmett Till's life on his journey from Chicago to Money, Mississippi, revealing his boisterous, stuttering character and his fateful encounter with Caroline Bryant, the young white woman whose accusations led to Emmett’s subsequent murder.

 

“Bayeza captures the powerful truths at the heart of the story, creating a soaring work of music, brilliant poetry and theatricality.” - DC Theatre Scene

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PART II. THAT SUMMER IN SUMNER (WORLD PREMIERE)

 April 30 - June 21, 2020

This World Premiere condenses the five-day trial of “The State of Mississippi vs. Roy Bryant and JW Milam for the Murder of Emmett Till” into a thrilling courtroom drama. Based on trial transcripts, contemporaneous news accounts, interviews and photo-documentation from a case broken open by the national black press exposing miscarriages of justice at every turn.

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PART III. BENEVOLENCE

May 22 - June 21, 2020

We meet Caroline Bryant, her husband Roy, and his twin brother Ray on the days before and after Emmett’s abduction, leaping forward 50 years and the recantation of much of Caroline's testimony. In Act II we meet Clinton and Beulah Melton, witnesses to the murder whose lives are now in danger, with scenes of Medgar Evers filing field reports to the NAACP.  

 

"In its intimate, domestic settings, it achieves an epic scale." - Star Tribune

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Additional funding for The Till Trilogy is provided by the
CrossCurrents Foundation in support of Community Conversations

*All dates are subject to change.

 

#WOKESEASON

The eight amazing plays in Mosaic’s Season 5 offer up Stages of Awakening—urgent, exhilarating and humble—that hurtle our characters, and by extension, us, forward to new levels of awareness, puncturing bubbles of pretension along the way. To be “woke” is to be no longer in the dark about what’s happening around us; about the systems of oppression and persistence of racism that permeate daily life. But it can be tricky terrain, these states of “wokeness,” leading to pats-on-the-back of self-congratulations and new forms of denial. Our extraordinary playwrights are hip to our follies and foibles, just as they’re poised to wake us up to the realities of our moment and the relevance of history still knocking on our door.

In these perilous, passionate, and still promising times in America, we invite you to join Mosaic on a journey in this, our fifth year, as we build on all we’ve achieved in creating a Fusion Community of common commitments to cultural citizenship, with audiences deeply engaged in the lives of characters as they reflect the world around us and our city’s gritty reality; where protagonists are poised for breakthroughs and breakdowns in equal measure. That’s what makes them so dramatic: we’re never sure who’s going to get the happy ending or who history will posthumously redeem!

From our lead heroine Undine, in Lynn Nottage’s masterpiece comedy, Fabulation, where confidence collides with comeuppance, to Norman Yeung’s free speech protagonist busy dismantling the cinematic patriarchy in Theory, to the overly enlightened anti-vax parent-body in Jonathan Spector’s hilarious Eureka Day, the season kicks off with laughs that land where it hurts. There’s romance and revelation to be found in the sexual anxieties of Musa and Sheri, Pilgrims indeed, setting sail on a journey to become their most authentic selves. And our blazingly witty local playwright, Alexandra Petri, leaves no bloviator unpunctured in Inherit The Windbag, her searing reflection on the ‘68 election debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal. All of which leads us to the Mountain Top, as our season culminates with a world premiere staging of Ifa Bayeza’s The Till Trilogy, three plays about the life and death of Emmett Till, the trial of his murderers, and a moment when America woke up, for just a moment, to its own revulsion of racism.

We hope you’ll join us by subscribing, by endorsing our commitment to our mission, and to meeting this moment with highly energized art! Don’t miss a beat of our best season yet, with the best subscription deal we’ve ever offered. See you for much more in the new season!

-Ari Roth, Founding Artistic Director 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SEASON 5 READING SERIES

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ANACOSTIA FLATS

By Bob Bartlett

(part of Locally Grown Mosaic)

 

Monday, September 16, 2019 at 7pm

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EAST OF THE RIVER (part 2)

Book, Lyrics, and Music by Star Johnson

Recipient of the Trish Vradenburg Play Commission Program

(part of Locally Grown Mosaic)

 

Monday, November 11, 2019 at 7pm

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NO DESERT ROSES

By Laila Soliman

(part of the Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival)

 

Monday, January 27, 2020 at 7pm

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BEREAVED

By Joshua Sobol

(part of the Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival)

 

Monday, February 3, 2020 at 7pm

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I WAS THERE

By Motti Lerner

(part of the Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival)

 

Monday, February 10, 2020 at 7pm

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LEARN MORE ABOUT THE READING SERIES

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BOX OFFICE

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