A History of Taylor Mac

“Taylor Mac is one of the most exciting theater artists of our time.”
 — TimeOut NY
“Fabulousness can come in many forms, and Taylor Mac seems intent on assuming each and every one of them.”
 — The New York Times
“Who is Taylor Mac? To answer this philosophical question, one must experience this polymorphous artist onstage.
 — LA Times

“Who is Taylor Mac,” indeed? For a few things, a playwright, an actor, a singer-songwriter, a performance artist, a director, and a producer.

For another, a self-described “fool” and “collagist” whose work draws on commedia, musical theatre, and drag performance through a lens of pastiche, intertextual playfulness, and capital “R” Ridiculousness.

For another, a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama and the recipient of a Kennedy Prize, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim Award, and an Obie.

For another, the author of Hir, which arrives at Woolly on May 22 to close out one of our most revolutionary seasons ever — in stunningly appropriate fashion.

But perhaps Taylor is best understood through judy’s work. Read on below to get a taste of what Taylor Mac is all about. While compared to the rest judy’s oeuvre Hir may seem a more traditional play in form, trust us — its content is radically in keeping with the rest of Mac’s transcendent work.

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music

A 24-hour music theater work about how communities are built as a result of being torn apart. Consisting of over 246 songs–some original and many pre-existing popular songs (popular in the US from 1776 to the present day)–as well as over thirteen hours of original text, the work is a deconstruction, reimagining, reframing, and reenactment of 240 years of US history.

The Walk Across America for Mother Earth

The story of two friends who flee their suburban upbringing in “Real America” to join a ragtag group of anarchists on a protest march from D.C. to a nuclear test site in Nevada. Combining drag, commedia dell’arte, and political commentary, The Walk Across America for Mother Earth explores how the idea of community sometimes brings us together in unexpected ways.

The Lily’s Revenge

A five-hour phantasmagorical drag epic featuring a cast of 40, The Lily’s Revenge addresses cultural norms around love and matrimony in the framework of a Japanese Noh play. The plot: the Great Longing Deity, a malicious Stage Curtain, has created a plague of nostalgia across the land. It is up to a five-petaled Lily to defeat the Curtain, bring an end to oppressive narratives, and wed the bride.

The Young Ladies Of

The Young Ladies Of is a letter to the playwright’s father, Robert Mac. Robert was a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army in Vietnam who received thousands of letters in response to a “lonely hearts” ad he placed in an Australian newspaper. When Robert died, the envelopes remained unopened until his wife sent them to Taylor. By juxtaposing Robert’s army life in 1960s Vietnam with judy’s own life as a New York City drag/pastiche artist, the work bridges the gap between masculinity and femininity, fathers and sons, and red and blue states.

The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac

A subversive fusion of cabaret, political tirade and gender illusion, Mac employs surrealism, outrageous costumes, and a trusty ukulele to explore the human condition and challenge the contemporary culture of fear.