Preview DEAR MAPEL, Written by and Starring Psalmayene 24

Dear Mapel is the first development project Psalmayene 24 will undertake with Mosaic during his residency—a 3 year post as Playwright in Residence and artistic leader, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in collaboration with HowlRound Theatre Commons.  

Reserve a FREE ticket here. Video event runs October 26th – October 31st.

Writer-performer Psalmayene 24 at a rehearsal of the play “Dear Mapel” at Baby Wale. (Mosaic Theater Company)

At Mosaic Theater, a playwright asks: How do you mourn a man you barely knew?

On Oct. 26, when audiences get a first look at “Dear Mapel,” Psalmayene 24’s new one-man show about his relationship with his deceased father — currently in development at Mosaic Theater — the occasion will be no typical workshop.

For one, the familiar workshopping process — in which a scaled-down version of a play is staged and critiqued — has been set aside by Mosaic in favor of a virtual, multimedia-enhanced presentation because of the pandemic.

But Psalmayene 24 also says that this play is a particularly flexible work in progress because he’s still processing its inciting event: the 2014 death of his estranged father, Mapel. As writing the script has bred catharsis, that catharsis has engendered rewrites — with the cycle repeating indefinitely.

“There was just incredible grief, as you can imagine,” the 47-year-old writer-performer says of his father’s death, which he didn’t learn about until 2017. “So this play was created with the spirit of trying to get some sort of closure in that relationship. How can we alter and heal those relationships, even when a parent is deceased? I mean, that’s fascinating to me. I’m still in that process, and I’ve experienced a transformation of my relationship with my father through the making of this piece.”

Earlier this year, Mosaic Theater appointed Psalmayene 24 to a three-year position as playwright in residence, supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Emerson College’s HowlRound Theatre Commons.

Psalmayene 24 promptly identified “Dear Mapel” as the first project of that collaboration. When the pandemic brought on the widespread closing of theaters, he found that the sense of isolation only heightened his desire to complete a project about the thirst for human connection.

Read the full article by Thomas Floyd from The Washington Post here.