Magic Theatre to Present World Premiere of HIR, Begin. 1/29
Magic Theatre welcomes back Obie Award-winning playwright Taylor Mac with the world premiere of Hir, directed by Niegel Smith and running January 29 - February 23, 2014.
Hir follows newly enlightened Paige as she forges a deliriously liberated world for her two wayward children: Isaac, on leave from the Marines under dubious circumstances; and Max, tender, jaded, and sculpting a third-sex gender identity for hirself.
Producing Artistic Director, Loretta Greco began talks with Taylor Mac about Hir three seasons ago during The Lily's Revenge, Taylor's first production at Magic Theatre. According to Loretta, "Taylor Mac is one of the most thoughtful and courageous playwrights working today. He manages to confront the deepest political and moral questions of our time without ever losing his profound gifts as an entertainer and storyteller. I'm very excited to introduce our audiences to Hir."
A playwright, actor, and singer-songwriter, Taylor Mac's work has been performed at New York City's Lincoln Center, The Public Theatre, the Sydney Opera House, Boston's American Repertory Theatre, and London's Soho Theatre, to name a few. Mac is the author of sixteen full-length plays and performance pieces including the Obie Award winning, The Lily's Revenge, The Walk Across America for Mother Earth (named One of the Best Plays of 2011 by The New York Times), The Young Ladies Of, Red Tide Blooming (Ethyl Eichelberger Award), and The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac (Edinburgh Festival's Herald Angel Award). Mac has been named one of New York's best theatre artists by The New York Times, The New Yorker, and American Theatre Magazine. Most recently, the Village Voice named him New York's best theatre actor of 2013.
Taylor Mac grew up in Stockton, California, at a time when it was known as the murder capital of California and had the highest illiteracy rate in the country. "I wanted nothing more to do than to get out of Stockton." The play setting stems from his upbringing in the suburbs, the question of the play for Mac, however is, "how do we support our dying culture, how do we care for our dying culture when the demographics are changing, how do we care for the things that are broken, and the things that have been abusive to us and don't serve us. Do we throw them out or do we care for them?" Mac wonders, "maybe it was a personal feeling that I couldn't figure out, how to make Stockton great, rather than abandon it."
Niegel Smith, the associate director of the Tony Award-winning musical Fela!, makes his directorial debut at Magic Theatre. Smith is a performance artist and theatre director whose work has been produced by Elastic City, the Prelude Festival, Abrons Arts Center, the Van Alen Institute, The Public Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, New York Fringe Festival, and The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble. This play, according to Smith, "starts off as a comedy but then takes us to the depth of human experience. Everyone in this play is laid bare. They are in the crux of some crossroads, in the making of a new self or holding back of an old self."
Hir is made up of an esteemed cast starting with veteran actress Nancy Opel, whose Broadway credits include Eva Perón in Evita, Yente in Fiddler on the Roof, as well as originating roles in Sunday in the Park with George and Urinetown, (Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Musical).
Making their theatrical debut at Magic Theatre are Ben Euphrat and Jax Jackson. Ben's recent credits include Ideation at SF Playhouse, Good People at Marin Theatre Company, Learns a Lesson with Killing My Lobster, and Status Update at Center REP. Jax Jackson's recent roles include Bo in the premiere workshop of Merism with Stadium Praxis, Philadelphia; Jerry in Lesbian Love Octagon at Kraine Theatre, New York City; Jaq in the world premiere of Teddy Ferrara at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago; and Strapped with the Inconvenience, Chicago.