Psalmayene 24 at Mosaic Theater Company
Psalmayene 24 is an award-winning playwright, director, and actor. Psalm—as his colleagues call him—is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Mosaic Theater and the Doris Duke Artist-in-Residence at Studio Theatre. Directing credits include Passover by Antoinette Nwandu at Studio Theatre, Native Son by Nambi E. Kelley at Mosaic Theater Company, Word Becomes Flesh (recipient of five 2017 Helen Hayes Awards, including Outstanding Direction of a Play) by Marc Bamuthi Joseph at Theater Alliance, and The Shipment by Young Jean Lee at Forum Theater. Psalm is currently the host of Psalm’s Salon at Studio. Produced by Studio Theatre, Psalm’s Salon is an online interview-based series that celebrates and examines culture through a Black lens. He is one of the writers of Arena Stage’s coronavirus pandemic time capsule film, 22 May, and he wrote Double Entendre, the fifth episode of Roundhouse Theatre’s ten-part pandemic influenced web series Homebound. His play, Les Deux Noirs (2020 Charles MacArthur Award Nomination for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical and Venturous Capital Grant recipient), is inspired by a legendary 1953 confrontation between famed writers Richard Wright and James Baldwin in a Paris café and received its world premiere production at Mosaic Theater Company. The Frederick Douglass Project—his play inspired by Frederick Douglass’ 1845 trip to Ireland and co-written with Irish playwright Deirdre Kinahan—was the first play to be produced on a pier at The Yards Marina in Washington, DC and was the recipient of six 2019 Helen Hayes Award nominations.
Psalm has received commissions from the African Continuum Theater Company, Arena Stage, Imagination Stage, The Kennedy Center, Theater Alliance, Solas Nua, Mosaic Theater Company, and Theatrical Outfit. His one man play, Free Jujube Brown!, is recognized as a seminal work in Hip-Hop Theatre and is published in the anthology Plays from the Boom-Box Galaxy: Theater from the Hip-Hop Generation (TCG). With the premiere of Cinderella: The Remix at Imagination Stage, Psalm completed his critically acclaimed Hip-Hop Children’s Trilogy that explores the past, present, and future of hip-hop culture. Also having premiered at Imagination Stage, the other two plays of the trilogy are Zomo the Rabbit: a Hip-Hop Creation Myth and P.Nokio: a Hip-Hop Musical. Among other awards, the plays of the trilogy have earned two development grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Walt Disney Corporation grant, and two Helen Hayes Award nominations for Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences.
Psalm directed The Welders' world premiere production of Not Enuf Lifemtimes by Caleen Sinnette Jennings and the Mead Theatre Lab production of Read: White and Blue by The Hueman Prophets. He has also directed theater ensembles in India, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of Arena Stage's Voices of Now program. He was the assistant director of The Living Stage Theatre Company. Psalm is the recipient of the Imagination Award from Imagination Stage (past recipients include Christopher Reeve, Dr. Jane Goodall, and Dennis Haysbert). He has also received grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, and the Boomerang Fund for Artists Inc. As an actor, Psalm has appeared on HBO’s critically acclaimed series The Wire, been nominated for a Helen Hayes Award (1999, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical), and is a member of Actor’s Equity Association. He had the pleasure of playing Fortune in Arena Stage's Helen Hayes award-winning production of Ruined. He is currently featured in Destination DC’s film segment highlighting theatre in Washington, DC. Psalm is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
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.
In December 2014 Mosaic Theater Company of DC was co-founded by playwright Ari Roth and philanthropist Dan Logan, with major support from the Reva and David Logan Foundation. Roth had recently transitioned from the role of Artistic Director at Theater J, and was soon joined by two other DC theatre community leaders: producer Serge Seiden, formerly of The Studio Theatre, and director Jennifer L. Nelson, from the African Continuum Theatre Company.
With an outpouring of support from a diverse roster of newly-coalesced Board members and donors, the team began building a mission-driven theater focused on intercultural narratives, social justice issues and civic discourse.
Under the leadership of the newly-appointed Artistic Director Reginald L. Douglas and Managing Director Serge Seiden, Mosaic produces plays that spark conversation and connections amongst the DC Metro area’s diverse communities and sees itself as a neighbor and partner with those communities. By sharing stories that both entertain and enlighten, Mosaic uses art to build empathy amongst diverse people united by the magic of theater and hopes to build community by reflecting the people and the many cultures that call DC home.
In order to accomplish these goals, Mosaic develops the new canon of great new plays and playwrights through new play workshops and world premiere productions; assembles national co-productions and partnerships on bold new plays; creates robust education programs to supplement the artistic work; builds community partnerships in the immediate neighborhood and across DC; and celebrates the H Street Northeast community where Mosaic resides.
Collaboration - We embrace the collaborative nature of theater and cultivate creative relationships among artists. We seek partnerships with artistic, cultural and community-based groups to pursue shared goals. The spirit of inclusive decision-making underlies our work, our internal operations, and our partnerships.
- Community - In our leadership, governance and programing we reflect the diverse mosaic of people and cultures that make up Washington and its surrounding communities. Understanding that we each belong to a mix of communities based in geography, demographics, interests, and experience, we foster exploration of commonalities and differences and our shared humanity.
- Curiosity - We approach our complex world with a spirit of open inquiry and exploration that is central to learning about and appreciating perspectives and experiences different from our own. We produce culturally eclectic theater experiences that provide varied avenues to understanding complex, socially relevant issues. We listen to and learn from each other.
- Equity and Anti-racism - We create an equitable, respectful, empathetic artistic home for ourselves, our audiences, artists, and theater-makers. We believe that anti-racism, promoting racial and gender equity, working against abuse, and reducing harm are imperative to the art we make and how we make it.
- Inclusivity - On stage and within our organization, Mosaic promotes open dialogue and free speech and safeguards the dignity of each individual. We honor and appreciate the different cultural backgrounds and lived-experiences artists and audiences bring to the theater that deepen our work together. We foster an environment that respects and values historically marginalized groups, and welcome audiences of all ages, abilities, and social and economic situations.