Cast Announced For Mona Mansour's UNSEEN at Mosaic Theater

Performances run March 30-April 23, 2023.

By: Mar. 10, 2023
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Mosaic Theater Company welcomes playwright Mona Mansour back to Washington, DC for the regional premiere of Unseen, the cross-cultural, time-shifting journey of an American conflict photographer. Creating the mystery of Unseen are Maryland native and Everyman Theatre Company Member Katie Kleiger (as Mia), DC favorite and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company Member Emily Townley (as Mia's mother Jane), and Mosaic team member Dina Soltan (as Mia's on-again, off-again girlfriend Derya). Soltan is revisiting Mansour's work after starring in Mosaic's 2018 premiere of The Vagrant Trilogy. Unseen is directed by Johanna Gruenhut and on stage March 30-April 23, 2023. Tickets at mosaictheater.org.

The press preview for Unseen is scheduled for Sunday, April 2 at 3PM. Members of the media are invited to attend this performance, or any performance thereafter.

In Unseen, Mia wakes up in her ex-girlfriend Derya's Istanbul apartment after being on assignment in Syria, but has no memory of how she got there. Turning to the contents of her camera, Mia, Derya, and Jane-Mia's well-intentioned mother who has flown in from California-try to piece together lost time, unearthing personal, professional, and political revelations that lead them to confront the true costs of Mia's dangerous profession.

It was just announced that playwright Mona Mansour was honored with an Arts and Letters Award in Literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, one of the country's foremost cultural institutions.

Unseen is generously underwritten by Deborah Carliner & Robert Remes, Ed Grossman & Rochelle Stanfield, Joan P. & David O. Maxwell, Elaine Reuben and The Timbrel Fund, and Stephern Stern & Margaret Hahn Stern.

ABOUT UNSEEN

American conflict photographer Mia wakes up in her ex-girlfriend's Istanbul apartment and doesn't recall how she got there, although the contents of her camera might. A cross-cultural, time-shifting journey ensues as Mia pieces together the details of her past and wrestles with the costs of her profession. Unseen welcomes Mansour back to DC following Mosaic's acclaimed debut production of The Vagrant Trilogy, which was produced Off-Broadway by The Public Theater in April 2022.

ABOUT Mona Mansour

Mona Mansour is a Lebanese-American playwright and TV writer. Her credits include: Unseen (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The Vagrant Trilogy (The Public Theater, Mosaic Theater Company), The Way West (Steppenwolf Theatre, Labyrinth Theater), and We Swim, We Talk, We Go to War (Golden Thread). She conceived of the play Beginning Days of True Jubilation, about a start-up gone bust, with her theater company SOCIETY. With Tala Manassah, she has written Falling Down the Stairs. Their play Dressing is part of Facing Our Truths: Short Plays about Trayvon, Race and Privilege.

She started as an actor, performing in the famed Groundlings Sunday Company in Los Angeles.

As a writer, she got her start when she was chosen to be part of The Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group in 2009. Awards and fellowships include the Kesselring Prize, The Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting, The Whiting Award, Middle East America, MacDowell, and New Dramatists.

Mona was a writer for NBC's long-running series New Amsterdam and is currently creating a series set in the Middle East for Waleed and Joana Zuaiter's FlipNarrative.

ABOUT Johanna Gruenhut

Johanna Gruenhut is the Associate Artistic Director of Theater J in Washington, DC. Her work has been seen at The Public Theater, The Kennedy Center, Studio Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Weston Theater Company (formerly Weston Playhouse), Long Wharf Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Theater J, and Baltimore Center Stage. She has taught at Georgetown University, University of Maryland, College Park, The Johns Hopkins University, and University of California, San Diego. Originally from New York, she currently lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband and their three kids.

ABOUT THE CAST

Katie Kleiger's (Mia) Off-Broadway credits include Ring Twice for Miranda (New York City Center) and The Fall (SoHo Playhouse). Regional credits include White Noise, The Wolves, and The Effect at Studio Theatre; The Book of Will and Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Round House Theatre; Everything is Wonderful at Philadelphia Theatre Company; Pride and Prejudice at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Juno and The Paycock, A Christmas Carol, and Blue Stockings at the Guthrie Theatre; and Sense and Sensibility, Steel Magnolias, Proof, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Dancing at Lughnasa at Everyman Theatre, where she is a Company Member. Awards include Best Actress in a Comedy (St. Louis Theatre Circle Award) and Best Ensemble (Helen Hayes Awards). Katie studied at the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre BFA Actor Training Program. She is also a musician; her music is available on all streaming platforms. On social media @katiekleiger (Instagram). katiekleiger.com.

Dina Soltan (Derya; she/her) is thrilled to be back on stage with Mosaic Theater Company, where she also performed in The Vagrant Trilogy and Keffiyeh/Made in China. Prior credits include Ada and The Engine (Ada) with Avant Bard Theatre, Dhana, and The Rosebuds (Dhana) with Ally Theatre Company, Or, (Aphra) and Soldier Poet with Theatre Prometheus, Reykjavik and Neverwhere with Rorschach Theatre, A Woman of no Importance with Scene Theater, and The Blind at The Wheel Theatre Company.

Emily Townley (Jane; she/her), is a Company Member at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, where previous credits include Teenage Dick, Taylor Mac's HIR, The Arsonists, The Totalitarians (Helen Hayes Award nomination, Outstanding Lead Actress), Detroit, A Bright New Boise, Maria/Stuart, House of Gold, Spain, Fuddy Meers, Wonder of the World, and Watbanaland. Other select DC credits include: The Amateurs, Comedy of Tenors and Bad Dog for Olney Theatre Center; How I Learned To Drive and The Sisterhood for Round House Theatre; Twelfth Night (Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Play) and Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare Theatre Company; The Mystery of Love and Sex at Signature Theatre; Between Riverside and Crazy, Laugh, Skin Tight, Rock N' Roll, and The Bright and Bold Design for Studio Theatre. Select regional credits include The Game's Afoot and All My Sons for Gulfshore Playhouse, and Teenage Dick for the Huntington Theatre Company and Pasadena Playhouse.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM

Emily Lotz (Scenic Designer) is a freelance designer and artist based in Washington, DC. She won a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Scenic Design for The Princess & the Pauper - A Bollywood Tale at Imagination Stage. Recent credits include Marys Seacole and Inherit the Windbag at Mosaic Theater Company, Crowns and Dreamgirls at Baltimore Center Stage, The Wiz and Little Shop of Horrors at ArtsCentric, The War Boys for Ally Theatre Company, and Always... Patsy Cline at Milwaukee Rep. emilylotzdesign.com.

Jesse Belsky's (Lighting Designer) previous DC-area designs include John Proctor is the Villain, Pipeline, P.Y.G., The Effect, and Three Sisters at Studio Theatre; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Ford's Theatre; JQA and The Year of Magical Thinking at Arena Stage; Oslo, Handbagged, and The Book of Will at Round House Theatre; Which Way to the Stage and The Mystery of Love & Sex at Signature Theatre; Henry IV, Part 1, The Winter's Tale, Sense and Sensibility, and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Folger Theatre; The Music Man, Labour of Love, and The Magic Play at Olney Theatre Center; and Compulsion of the House Behind, Actually, and Everything Is Illuminated at Theater J. Jesse holds a BA from Duke University and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. He has taught lighting design at Connecticut College and UNC Greensboro. jessebelsky.com.

Mona Kasra (Projections Designer) is an Iranian-American new media artist and interdisciplinary scholar. Her practice-based research questions, critiques, and experiments with the affordances of media technologies within artistic forms and in a variety of improvisational framings. Mona's work has been exhibited in numerous art galleries and film festivals in the US and worldwide. Select design credits include The Till Trilogy (Helen Hayes Award nomination, Outstanding Projections Design), Marys Seacole, and Keffiyeh Made in China at Mosaic Theater Company; We Swim, We Talk, We Go to War for Golden Thread (San Francisco); When the Rain Stops Falling, Seven Guitars, and Arctic Circle for the University of Virginia Department of Drama; and Holy Bone, Flesh World, (w)hole, T.N.B, and blahblah for DWZ Collective (Dallas). She holds a PhD in Arts & Technology and is currently Associate Professor of Digital Media Design at the University of Virginia. On social media @monaism (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter). monakasra.com.

Sarah Cubbage's (Costume Designer) favorite designs include Crazy for You, directed by Susan Stroman at David Geffen Hall; Triumph of Love and Hippolyte et Aricie, directed by Stephen Wadsworth at The Juilliard School; and Beauty & The Beast for Disney Creative Entertainment. Regional credits include the Round House Theatre productions of The Tempest, co-directed by Aaron Posner and Teller, Spring Awakening, and The Heal, co-produced with The Getty Villa; A Chorus Line at Signature Theatre; That Face at Baltimore Center Stage; The Lily's Revenge at American Repertory Theatre; Disgraced and In The Next Room for Syracuse Stage; King John for Folger Theatre; Kings, The Wolves, and The Hard Problem for Studio Theatre; The Crucible and Labour of Love for Olney Theatre Center; and Compulsion and Actually at Theatre J. Member USA 829. sarahcubbage.com.

Deb Thomas's (Props Designer) work for Mosaic Theater Company includes The Till Trilogy, Marys Seacole, Birds of North America, Eureka Day, and Milk Like Sugar. She was the Props Director at Studio Theatre from 2009 to 2019, where she did set design for Terminus, assistant set design for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and props design for Clyde's, Heroes of The Fourth Turning, John Proctor is the Villain, Pass Over, Fun Home, Love! Valor! Compassion!, Sylvia, Suburbia, and Slavs! Her work for Theater J includes The Tale of The Allergist's Wife and Freud's Last Session. She was the Production Designer for the historical documentary AD-X2; sculptor and sculpture consultant for TLC's DC Cupcakes; and did original set design for Discovery Channel's Puppy Bowl; Washington Bureau set design for TV Tokyo; and the Natty G pilot for National Geographic. In addition to working for all national networks, her work includes production design for PBS American Experience Dolley Madison, art direction for Alexander Hamilton, and set and props design for Discovery Channel's Jamestown: Against All Odds.

Sierra Young (Fight and Intimacy Director; she/her) is a multi-hyphenate artist in the DC/Baltimore area. She is an active member of the Society of American Fight Directors, Intimacy Directors and Coordinators, and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Recent DC choreography credits include Bars and Measures, The Till Trilogy, Marys Seacole, and Birds of North America at Mosaic Theater Company; Shout Sister Shout! at Ford's Theatre; King Lear and Red Velvet at Shakespeare Theatre Company; Playboy of the Western World for Solas Nua; The Cake and World Builders for Prologue Theatre; and Ain't No Mo' at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Recent regional choreography credits include Ain't No Mo' at Baltimore Center Stage; Fences for National Players; and The Joy That Carries You and A.D. 16 at Olney Theatre Center. Upcoming projects include one in two at Mosaic and Spring Awakening at Monumental Theatre Company. sierrayoung.org.

Claire Fogle (Production Stage Manager; she/her) is thrilled to be returning to Mosaic Theater Company, where she previously worked on Marys Seacole, The Till Trilogy, and Bars and Measures. Claire was born and raised a military brat, and has enjoyed traveling and working all over the globe, including credits as a stage and events manager in Los Angeles, Orlando, Chicago, and the Berkshires. Previous credits in the DC area include the 2022 Voices of Now Festival and Devex World at Arena Stage, Celtic Crossings with the Washington Revels, Flight at Studio Theatre, the 2022 DC Dance Festival with Dance Place, and Cinderella and Shhhakespeare Revue at Synetic Theater. Claire holds a BFA in Stage Management from the University of Central Florida.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Mosaic Theater aligns its safety protocols with those of the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Masking is optional in public areas of the building, such as hallways and restrooms, however masks are required inside theater spaces. Food and drink purchased at the Atlas Café can be brought into theaters, and patrons can temporarily remove their masks while actively eating or drinking.

For the latest information, visit mosaictheater.org/health-and-safety.




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