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Beginning first in the 2014-2015 academic year, Mosaic New York is a small theatrical company that writes and performs pieces in an effort to create dialogues on campus and in the Geneva community related to social justice issues. Associate Professor of Theatre Heather May continues to work as the founder and Artistic Director of the company with the support of the Office of Student Affairs and the Department of Theatre.
Members of the company are selected through an audition process that takes place during the spring of the previous academic year. Those members then serve as actors in the company for the entire academic year and are paid a stipend for their contributions to the community.
The Mosaic NY performances serve to challenge the worldviews of the audience and advocate for the rights of marginalized populations. “Mosaic has changed the way I look at and think about everything, including myself and my own power to bring about change,” says member Phoebe MacCurrach ’18. “Not only has mosaic helped me to understand difficult social justice issues, it has also given me the tools necessary to have a dialogue about the issues at hand.”
Professor May also noted, “There are obviously the external reasons why people should join – to have an impact n the HWS community, to be able to take what they know about HWS and work actively to make us a strong and more inclusive community – then there are the personal reasons which would have to do with how Mosaic has a tendency to allow students to interact with people they don’t see regularly in a really meaningful way. And in so doing, really broaden your own knowledge of life experience and HWS experience.”
Besides its presence at Orientation each year, Mosaic New York is also known for its powerful guerilla campaigns around campus that are interactive by design. There was one such campaign during the first year of Mosaic’s existence at HWS that focused on Yik-Yak, and another in 2015 that was directed at faculty members. “For me,” Professor May said. “During the academic year, those kind of guerrilla theater performances are some of my favorite because they allow us to respond in real time and ask people to think about it in ways that cause a different engagement with a topic.”
“What the company tackles is really driven by the members of the company. It is a largely student company for the student body. So I think one of the reasons to get involved, is that it’s a chance to address things on campus collaboratively and work to solve problems,” Professor May concluded.
Auditions for the 2018-2019 Mosaic New York Company will take place on Sunday, April 22 from 1-5pm. Please email Professor May at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and an audition questionnaire which will focus on “Who are you? What do you believe in, what inspires you, and what difference do you want to make on campus?”