Mosaic Theater Company of DC will stage the world premiere of Dear Mapel starring Psalmayene 24 with music by Jabari Exum, from January 19 – February 13 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. A streaming video option also available for viewing beginning February 2nd. Written and performed by Andrew W. Mellon Playwright in Residence, Psalmayene 24, Dear Maple is a joyfully energetic coming-of-age story that takes viewers from Park Slope, Brooklyn to Washington, DC, on a journey through Psalm’s adolescence and major life milestones which are often accentuated by the absence of his father, Mapel. Through a series of letters, both real and imagined, the creative team explores the power of the written word to connect us with our loved ones, our past, and our future.

“The process of writing this play has been emotionally harrowing and spiritually fulfilling in equal measure. I’ve opted not to hide behind fiction in this work—this play is the unvarnished autobiographical truth,” said Psalmayene 24. “This is a means for me to finally and creatively confront a haunting element of my origin story. My hope is that it will be a gateway of healing for the audience and myself — a transformation of the demons in my life into guardian angels.”

Accenting this “solo show in poetry” are the percussive stylings of Jabari Exum, the drummer and movement coach on Marvel’s “Black Panther” films and a Peabody Institute alum whose music adds a depth and richness to this world premiere production. Visionary director Onoda Power, “a motivational dynamo” who often enchants audiences with wonderful works of technical magic, will create “an island of memories” through the use of live video projected upon walls created out of discarded letters.

“Mosaic is thrilled to stage Psalmayene 24’s autobiographical work that grapples with the sins of our fathers and how we reconcile past hurts with moving forward in the present,” said Reginald L. Douglas, Mosaic’s Artistic Director. “Psalm’s play is an honest reflection about Black joy, masculinity and family told through visionary means and anchored by what is sure to be a tour-de-force performance from one of DC’s legendary artists.” 

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