The Mosaic Theater Company

A man, underlit in blue, stands with his palms facing outward in front of a dramatically lit stage flat.
 Scene from "Wrestling Jerusalem" Photo: Teddy Wolff

Exiting out of Union Station—a slightly less historic but nevertheless still important landmark in Washington, DC—one comes to the landing of a shiny new streetcar situated on a bridge overlooking the NoMa district with decorated mosaics of little children playing along the sides. Thirteen blocks from DC’s Union Station sits a city landmark located neatly on historic H Street—and because this landmark is thirteen blocks from Union Station, the shiny new streetcar is the best way to arrive outside the front doors of the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Established in the 1920s, the Atlas Performing Arts Center houses many DC arts organizations. And since 2014, the Atlas has been the home to an emerging theater company in DC: Mosaic Theater Company.

With a mission statement dedicated to bringing international drama from the front lines of conflict zones to the stage, Mosaic is daring and innovative in its season planning, often pushing boundaries—challenging audience members to think harder, feel deeper, understand more. An evening at Mosaic is cathartic—not just emotionally, but a catharsis of the soul; a soulful cleansing that helps audiences sense the power of shared humanity through the story unfolding before their eyes. Mosaic delights in thoughtful and poignant postshow discussions and peace cafés aimed to inspire community-building, empathy, and healing from audience members who come to the theater from global and local communities alike.

While the entirety of Mosaic’s season is not internationally focused, Mosaic produces a unique annual festival entitled Voices from a Changing Middle East. This festival focuses predominantly on cultivating and producing work from playwrights writing in or about Israel/Palestine. Past works from this festival include I Shall Not Hate, based on the life of Gazan doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish; The Admission, by Motti Lerner; Wrestling Jerusalem, by Aaron Davidman; Ulysses on Bottles, by Gilad Evron; and The Return, by Edward Mast and Hanna Eady, just to name a few.

Starting this year, Mosaic Theater is hitting the road to bring three internationally acclaimed productions from the Voices festival to university theaters around the nation. The University of Oklahoma’s School of Drama is proud to be hosting Mosaic Theater Company this February as the tour’s inaugural production. The tour brings I Shall Not Hate, Wrestling Jerusalem, and David Hare’s Via Dolorosa together into an inspiring and unfettered triple-bill performance.

Mosaic Theater Company of DC cultivates an atmosphere of acceptance and tolerancewhether in DC or on tourwhere difficult stories can be told and received with an open mind, imagination, and heart. Mosaic serves to entertain, enlighten, engage, and inspire, all the while asking who we are and pushing us to be better.

After all, theater shows us that although circumstances may differ, we, as humans, are very much the same—and Mosaic allows us to see that.


Hannah Grillot is an undergraduate student at the University of Oklahoma pursuing degrees in dramaturgy, international development, and religious studies. During the school year, she is an intern for World Literature Today.