Psalmeyene 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 is committed to making transformational, socially-relevant art, to producing plays by authors on the front lines of conflict zones, and to building a fusion community to address some of the most pressing issues of our times. Dedicated to making our theater a model of diversity and inclusion at every strata, on stage and off, Mosaic invests in the new as we keep abreast of our changing and challenging times to ensure that our theater is a responsive gathering space, all the while nurturing and producing art of the highest order. We complement our productions with comprehensive engagement through free pre- and post-show programming, an annual intercultural festival, like our Voices From a Changing Middle East series, and educational initiatives, including our touring Mosaic on the Move. We strive to foster a culture of listening and welcoming, embracing complexity and a multi-focal perspective. Our plays speak truth to power and to the private parts of our soul. In short, we make art with a purpose and strive for impact.
Mosaic is, first and foremost, a team of working theater artists and highly devoted professionals committed to producing art of the highest order. Our art is bold, creative, expressive, and uncensored. We produce art to be transformational, thought-provoking, and socially relevant to both contemporary issues and to the legacy of historical issues that remain at the intersection of conflict and society. Our commitment to open dialogue and free speech is paramount.
We believe in dignity and respect for the individual and live in an environment that encourages dialogue, heterogeneity of thought and opinion and a place where people are invited into conversations about history, politics, and society from a multiplicity of perspectives, leading to the synthesizing of often oppositional narratives.
We strive to "walk the talk" in all that we do to ensure authenticity of messaging and consistency of efforts in providing platforms for truly transformational dialogue around important issues. We cultivate safeguards to ensure that civic discourse and public conversation take place in comfortable yet sometimes challenging, respectful, well-informed settings. We reflect the community we serve.