Since forming in August 2012, Jefferson’s new Mosaic Stage Company has followed what founder and artistic director Kim-Noel Bianchini calls an “if we build it, they will come” approach to re-thinking community theater.
“We want to walk the line between hilarious and heartbreaking,” said Bianchini. “We want to take on some topics.”
Mosaic formed quite naturally, she said, when its members met and realized there was a group of people in the area from theatrical backgrounds with similar ideas. “It was really felicitous…the right people in the right place at the right time.”
Through association with the Ashe Arts Council, the company has secured the use of the Ashe Civic Center for their theater. They also joined the Olde Town Jefferson Business Association, which produces their plays.
“We’ve had two productions so far that were very successful,” she said.
In February, the company put on “Radio TBS: Trailer Park Broadcasting Scandals,” a comedy about a radio broadcast of the latest gossip from the the Luna Del Mar Manufactured Home Oasis and Monkey Emporium.
In April, they did a production of “Cosi.” Set in a mental institution, the play is about a university graduate who does a production of Mozart’s opera “Così Fan Tutte” starring a cast of mental patients, none of whom speak Italian.
But, while Mosaic has established itself with a venue and production resources, the company is still freewheeling its actors’ studio.
“We’ve rehearsed in a parking lot once,” Bianchini said. A member of the company has a barn the group may be using for rehearsal going forward.
Beginning June 7, Mosaic will be performing Loose Tiles, a live improv comedy act, at Club 21 every Friday, with shows beginning at 7 and 9. There is a $5 cover, but a “pay what you can” is offered for EBT recipients who show their cards at the door.
The company has three more stage productions scheduled for the remainder of 2013, and looks to partner with community organizations in what they hope will develop into a program of themed advocacy, said Gilly Macknee, Mosaic’s technical director.
September 13-15, the company will perform A. R. Gurney’s “Syliva,” a play about a stray dog who is adopted by a middle-aged couple whose marriage is tested by the new addition to the family. For this production, Mosaic hopes to partner with the Ashe Humane Society, Macknee said.
And they’d like to get Ashe Suicide/Depression Awareness Prevention to take part in their November 22-24 performance of Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Night, Mother,” he said, which explores the final hour in the life of a mother and a daughter.
Dec. 13-15, the company will do the holiday musical “1940’s Radio Christmas Carol.” Macknee said the company had no sponsor in mind for the production, but that they would like to talk to some Christmas tree growers.
Mosaic is not here to detract from or compete with the 54-year-old Ashe County Little Theater, Bianchini said.
“The Little Theater does a great job,” she said. “Our thing is we really want to be doing more than standard community theater.”
“We want to get into the public schools and bring some Shakespeare,” she said.
“People ask ‘why aren’t you going to Boone?’” Bianchini said. Her answer: “We need it here. Why can’t Ashe County become this hip place that does theater?”