Taylor Mac

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June 25th-Aug 4th


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Oct 9th, 11th, 12th

BARK OF MILLIONS, Berliner Festspiele, Berlin

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Bark of Millions:  A Parade Trance Extravaganza for the Living Library of the Deviant Theme

Written by Taylor MacComposed by Matt Ray


"This four-hour musical-opera-variety show is a moving, witty, extravagant exercise in pure pleasure and spectacle." - The Guardian


Produced by Pomegranate Arts & Premiered at the Sydney Opera House, 2023


A 2-hour concert doc of "Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music", directed by two time Oscar winner's  Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman, w/ cinematography by Ellen Kurass.  




Produced by Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, Joel Stillerman, Linda Brumbach, Alisa Regas, Taylor Mac, and Mari Rivera.  


"Joy and Pandemic", a realism play set in an abstract art school, is about the infestation of belief into our considerations of one another.  It premiered at the Huntington Theater, Boston, in 2023, directed by Loretta Greco.


"The Hang” is music theatre ritual celebration of queerness, questions, and the eternity of a moment.   It imagines the final hours of the life of Socrates, as he asks his friends to use every moment left to think on virtue. What transpires is a centuries-long communal consideration, full of jazz, dance, debates, and queer romps.  

Book and lyrics by Taylor Mac; Music by Matt Ray


The work was commissioned, developed, produced by HERE, in NYC, 2022


"The Fre" is a queer children’s play about finding love after bullying.  It ran through previews at the Flea Theater in 2020 before becoming a casualty of the COVID shutdown (staging a play inside a ball-pit was bad timing gyrl).


"Gary:  A Sequel to Titus Andronicus" is a tragedy determined to become a comedy.  It premiered on Broadway at the Booth Theater in 2019. It received 7 Tony Nominations including Best Play. The production was directed by George Wolfe and starred Nathan Lane, Kristine Nielsen, and Julie White.


"Holiday Sauce" is a performance art concert tribute to Mother Flawless Sabrina, disguised as a holiday show.  It began at Town Hall, NYC in 2017. The project was developed and produced by Nature's Darlings and Pomegranate Arts.





"A 24-Decade History of Popular Music" is a 24-hour long performance art concert.  Its creation began in 2010 and the entirety of it was performed from beginning to end in 2016, at St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn and subsequently in four 6-hour chapters at The Curran Theater, Theater at the Ace Hotel (CAP UCLA), The Melbourne Festival, Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (The Kimmel Center), and the Berliner Festpiele's Immersion program series.  It won The Kennedy Prize, an Obie, two Bessies, two Australian Helpmann Awards, a Drama Critics Circle Award, and was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The piece was developed and produced by Nature's Darlings and Pomegranate Arts.  


"Hir" is a play about America's changing paradigms and our responsibility towards home.  It  premiered at the Magic Theater, directed by Niegel Smith, in 2013.   To date it has had over 70 productions. It received the Sydney Theater Award for Best New Play.    


The Last Two People On Earth:  An Apocalyptic Vaudeville is a two-person work for seagulls, devised by Mandy Patinkin, Susan Stroman and Taylor Mac, in which the only two people who survived a flood on Earth put on a show for the Seagulls.  It was first presented by Classic Stage Company, NYC.  


"The Walk Across America For Mother Earth" is an anarchist adaptation of the “Three Sisters” about radical activism.  It was inspired by the true story of a group of activists who walked across the United States to shut down the Nevada Nuclear Test Site.  The play premiered at La Mama in 2011.  It was produced and commissioned by The Talking Band, was directed by Paul Zimet, and features music by Ellen Maddow.  


"Comparison is Violence:  The Ziggy Stardust Meets Tiny Tim Songbook"  premiered in 2010 at Joe's Pub, NYC.    


"The Lily's Revenge" is a 36-cast-member, 5-Hour Epic about a flower who wishes to be a man.  It premiered at the Here Arts Center in 2009, directed by Rachel Chavkin, Paul Zimet, Faye Driscoll, Aaron Rhyne, David Drake, Kristin Marting, and Taylor Mac and features music by Rachelle Garniez.  As a result of the production, Taylor was awarded judy's first Obie.


"Young Ladies Of" is a patriarchal mystery about the assumptions of lineage.  It premiered at The Here Arts Center, NYC 2007, and went on to tour the United Kingdom, Sweden, and the US.


"The Be(A)st of Taylor Mac", a ukulele confessional about the War on Terror, premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2006.  It was awarded the Herald Angel Award and played over 200 performances around the globe.


"Red Tide Blooming", a side-show musical about the gentrification of Coney Island.  It premiered at PS 122 in 2006, as a result of the Ethyl Eichelberger Award.  


"The Face of Liberalism" was Taylor's first performance art cabaret.  It premiered in 2002 at the Slide Bar in NYC.    



Gallery: 1998-2024


Available for streaming on most platforms

Holiday Sauce

The Be(A)st of Taylor Mac:  Live


The Lily's Revenge

Published Work

Taylor Mac is a theatre artist who prefers to write a bio in the first person.  Hello.  I’m also a theatre artist who longs to be rid of the usual bios that are lists of achievements.  Here’s something different.

In case you don’t know, my pronoun is judy (only capitalized when at the start of a sentence, like a normal pronoun).  A few people have claimed I use it as a joke.  They are uninformed.  It’s not a joke, which doesn’t mean it isn't funny.  It’s a personalized pronoun for someone whose gender (professionally and personally) is constantly changing. My gender isn’t male or female or non-binary (which oddly creates a binary between people who are non-binary and people who are binary).  My gender is “performer” (one day I’ll get it on the passport) and continually changing.  It’s also an art piece and as annoying to navigate as it is delicious.  You too may change yourself.

Here’s something a bunch of us theatre folk are considering, in terms of change: how can we make wondering the center of dramatic action, rather than centering the achievement of goals that are inherit in conflict? Sarah Ruhl says most theatre is made in the form of a male orgasm.  That seems accurate, in terms of theatre usually engorging to catharsis. But may we add that the radical queer understands a male orgasm may be varied, multiple, and circular?  All this to agree: There’s more than one way to engage with others.

There was once an acting teacher who said, “When your character is alone on stage their action is one of three things:  praying, figuring out, or recalling.”  Wise as that craft may be, may we transform this triumvirate into a truncation, one which offers an expansion?  While the method acting teacher is interested in showing how people are, some of us are (also?) interested in using theatre to explore possibility. Could we turn our craft into a vagary of wondering?  In other words, how do we become less knowing and more Socratic?

And are these actions reserved only for when we're alone? Or singular?  Or hierarchical?  Here’s a funny thing you start to wonder about as you climb the ladder:  if access to the tower means no access to the street, maybe, baby, it ain’t worth it.

I also wonder:  would an isolated child really dream towards theatre if it meant spending even more alone time? Though, is a character ever alone? Even when rehearsing a one-person show, the ancestral makers are present. So rather than being in a tantrum-tower-building-isolating-your turn-my-turn conflict, how might we wonder WITH them?

A start may be to rid ourselves of numbers.  Twenty-four hours.  Two hundred people.  Eight acts.  Five-character play.  Ninety-minutes.  Are all these numbers ways to disengage from the challenge of content?  Does form do the same?

Judy’s been a form queen.  I love a hand painted map.   Personalized, researched, detailed, figurative, metaphorical, and imperfect.  Essentially:  stack the genres, layer the forms, delight in the human warbles, throw in a little direction, notice the image is faded, get lost, damp, realize it’s grown something that might be harming you, try to clean it, hope it worked, realize it hasn’t, choose to make use of the harm, find a different way, repeat with variation, and call it theatre.

And… I wonder if it’s time to consider that form, style, aesthetics, pace, duration, craft, and process may not be content?  Gosh forbid.  We haven’t yet achieved enough critical mass of agreement that they are content.  Don’t give up yet Taylor Mac.  There is more work to be done before derailing this wholistic approach with sabotaging doubt.  Commit gyrl.

Still… there is a nagging question:  are we all behaving like Virgos obsessing over the categories, stratagems, and lists in order to ground our nomadic insecurities with an organizing principle chained to want?

Here’s a biographical detail for this bio:  I’m a Virgo.  Though I don’t believe in astrology.  Most of the people I hold dear are astrology nuts.  It’s hard to hold firm to a belief when dearness gets in the way.

Another dear thing, which keeps getting in the way of belief:  how can we be quiet while still freeing ourselves from the Puritan dominance over expression?  Another way to ask it:  how may we maintain our gentle souls in a tough place full of so many rules and mountains?  Must the tender queens be “fierce” to chisel a place for themselves in the world?  In order to survive?  Must they be queens; rulers with subjects?  May they not be tender? Must they pull up their bootstraps and emerge from dark caves, ready for battle? Must they brag and promote and grow, grow, grow, simply to be considered?

There’s a Stoic middle-aged consideration for ya.

Speaking of middle age and bragging and promoting… back to the bio.  Some theaters, producers, and playbills have rules about bios:  no jokes; don’t thank anyone; get rid of the personal; forget the philosophy; 100 word count; and simply list.  And perhaps, in a world of so many themes, a list is kinder.  Must we be challenged everywhere?  Shall we manifesto ourselves into corners, even in the playbill?  Shall we exhaust the reader with questions before the show has even begun?

And a different framing:  is the “list" similar to the peaceful and important work of the calling of the names? A way of saying, “This happened!  You may not have been there to witness, but it happened!  Recognize!”  And if the title of a play fails to provide you with the information that it was a sideshow musical about the gentrification of Coney Island—starring Bridget Everett, Tigger!, Dirty Martini, Bianca Leigh, and Ruby Lynn Maher, where Julie Atlas Muz choreographed Basil Twist’s puppets to watch on as Taylor Mac performed a naked, though painted green, de-tucking—perhaps it is enough to wonder with nothing more than its title: Red Tide Blooming.

In case all this might be true (that a list in a bio is more virtuous), below is the traditional biographical list of shows (rituals), competitive kindnesses (awards), and debt (gratitude). It’s essentially an engorging towards catharsis.  Feel free to read it and decide for yourself which gives you the context you need to open your heart (perhaps neither… oh no, then we’ll have to put our hopes on the show).  Or as the drag queen with extra makeup time once said, “Yes, and...”:

Theatre artist Taylor Mac is a MacArthur “genius”, a Pulitzer Prize Finalist, a Tony nominee for Best Play, and the recipient of the International Ibsen Award, the Kennedy Prize, the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim, a Drama League Award, a NY Drama Critics Circle Award, two Obie’s, and two Bessies.

Selected works include:  Bark of Millions (a fifty-five song—and counting—parade trance extravaganza for the living library of the deviant theme, with lyrics by Mac and music by Matt Ray), Joy and Pandemic (a realism play about an abstract art school); The Hang (a jazz opera Passion Play about the final hours of Socrates, with lyrics by Mac and music by Matt Ray); The Fre (a queer children’s play about loving after bullying, set in a ball pit); Gary:  A Sequel to Titus Andronicus (a tragedy determined to become a comedy); A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (a 24-hour performance art concert about communities building themself as a result of being torn apart);  Hir (an absurd realism play about a changing America); The Walk Across America for Mother Earth (an anarchist adaptation of Three Sisters about activism, with music by Ellen Maddow); The Lily’s Revenge (a flowergory manifold about a flower who wants to be the center of the story, with music by Rachel Garniez); The Young Ladies Of (a paternal mystery); The Be(A)st of Taylor Mac (a ukulele confessional about the War on Terror); Red Tide Blooming (a freak-show musical about gentrification); The Last Two People on Earth (a two-man cabaret for seagulls about the joy of singing, created with Mandy Patinkin, Susan Stroman, and Paul Ford).  

Films include:  Whitman in the Woods (directed by Noah Greenberg, streaming on All Arts) and Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music (a concert doc directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, streaming on Max).  

Occasionally Mac acts in plays by others.  Most notable:  the title role in Sarah Ruhl’s Orlando (Signature Theatre, directed by Will Davis); the title role in The Foundry Theatre’s Good Person of Szechwan (La Mama and The Public Theatre, directed by Lear DeBessonet); and Puck/Egeus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Classic Stage Company, directed by Tony  Speciale).

Thank you Patt Scarlett, Linda Brumbach, Alisa Regas, Kristin Marting, Morgan Jenness, Nina Mankin, Lynbarbara Mahler, Liz Swados, Paul Lucas, Machine Dazzle, Matt Ray, Niegel Smith, Robin Bowyer, Marcy Coburn, Kat Wentworth, mom, all the musicians, performers, designers, choreographers, directors, composers, crews, and administrators who've become part of the creations over the years and all the people who keep coming back.  


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