Ari Roth, artistic director of Mosaic Theater Company of D.C., is leaving the theater that he founded in 2014.
The announcement of Roth’s resignation came last night after a board meeting, “following all due process and a full consideration of his thoughts, and with a sincere thanks to Ari for being the spark that launched Mosaic,” board chair Bill Tompkins said in a statement.
Roth and Mosaic parted ways after a summer of racial unrest that shook the assumptions of the theater company. In July, Roth was “granted a three-month sabbatical to engage in research, reflection, exploration of management skills and abilities,” Tompkins said in the statement.
This “time out,” Serge Seiden, managing director and producer, wrote in a separate statement, “has given us an opportunity to evaluate our internal structures. The theater is steeped in the centuries old myth of the singular mostly male artist of genius. But this ‘visionary with vast power model’ has been problematic.”
In his resignation letter, Roth said his “artistic expression no longer has a place in a rapidly-evolving ethos committed to ‘seeding intersectional equity and oppression; abolishing a colonialist lens,’ and, for the moment, exclusive centering of Palestinian-authored and focused narratives to the elimination of countervailing voices or representations of ally-ship” in the long-running Voices from a Changing Middle East Festival, which Roth began 20 years ago at Theater J, where he was artistic director until 2014.
Roth announced “my new joint, Ari Roth Productions: Locally & Globally Grown, with updates on a new installment of the Voices From A Changing Middle East Festival which Mosaic has graciously allowed me to take with.”