Mosaic Theater: New Play Commission for Women Playwrights
WASHINGTON, DC—Mosaic Theater Company announces a new initiative to support women playwrights, The Trish Vradenburg Play Commission. The Commission will honor the late Vradenburg’s creative wit and contributions to the arts by providing resources and support for emerging women playwrights locally and nationally.
“Trish was an optimistic, comedic, witty writer and an early, pioneering friend of Mosaic Theater Company,” notes Ari Roth, Mosaic Founding Artistic Director. “This commission named in her memory will ensure that women’s voices are at the forefront of our repertoire. Our intention to commission local and national playwrights will provide opportunities for DC-based artists to generate and present work, helping Mosaic engage with the finest writers in the country on subject matter closest to our mission, enriching the local performing arts ecosystem.”
Established by the late Trish Vradenburg’s husband, George Vradenburg and The Vradenburg Foundation, the commission will provide Mosaic with a four-year $100,000 grant to underwrite the research, development, workshopping, and production of new work. Early moneys from the grant have underwritten new play residencies for Ifa Bayeza, author of The Till Trilogy and Mona Mansour, whose world premiere staging of The Vagrant Trilogy marked Mosaic’s final production of Season Three. Season Four’s first commitment will be a “completion commission” to provide local playwright Allyson Currin with support to expand her comedy, Sooner/Later (additional commission initiatives will be announced later this season). In seasons Five and Six, Mosaic will use the Trish Vradenburg Commission to support both a female playwright in the Washington DC metropolitan area to develop an original play or musical as part of its Locally Grown Mosaic initiative, as well as supporting a major female playwright of national standing to bring new work to Mosaic’s stage.
In addition to the Trish Vradenburg Commission, Mosaic will continue its tradition of producing a robust reading series as a complement to mainstage programming. This series will feature three works from local authors: East of the River with book, music and lyrics by Star Johnson (in partnership with the Anacostia Musical Theatre Lab); A Moving Picture by Jennie Berman Eng; and Notes on Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son by Psalmayene 24 (as a counter-point to Native Son, also directed by Psalmayene 24). The Scream and The Silence by Motti Lerner will round out the series as part of the Voices from a Changing Middle East Festival.
About Trish Vradenburg
Trish Vradenburg was an American playwright; television writer for Designing Women, Kate and Allie, and Family Ties; and a tireless advocate for the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. She wrote the acclaimed plays The Apple Doesn’t Fall… (which ran on Broadway and at the Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles) and Surviving Grace (produced at The Kennedy Center and Off-Broadway at the Union Square Theatre), both of which depicted the experience of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver for her mother. In 1986 Macmillan Publishers published her novel, Liberated Lady, which was chosen as Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections. In 2008, with her husband George, Trish founded US Against Alzheimer’s, a national advocacy network dedicated to stopping Alzheimer’s by the year 2020. Trish and George also served as co-publishers of Tikkun, a bi-monthly English-language magazine that analyzed American and Israeli culture, politics, religion, and history from a progressive viewpoint and provided commentary about Israeli politics and Jewish life in North America.