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PS 122 Announces Recipient of First Annual Ethyl Eichelberger Award


On May 2, 2005 Performance Space 122 celebrates its 25th anniversary with a gala benefit at Webster Hall where they will present the first annual Ethyl Eichelberger Award. This is a commissioning award given to an artist or group that exemplifies Ethyl's larger-than-life style and generosity of spirit; who embodies Ethyl's multi-talented artistic virtuosity, bridging worlds and inspiring those around them. The recipient of the award will get a show in the upcoming season at Performance Space 122 as well as a stipend for its creation.

Ethyl Eichelberger was a seminal performer, a landmark and a legend. His work inspired his contemporaries and those who came after him. His spirit and artistic adventurousness was an intrinsic component of what came to be viewed as the P.S. 122 aesthetic. The Ethyl Eichelberger Award was created to honor Ethyl's memory and to create a bridge between P.S.122's past and future.

The Ethyl Eichelberger Award Committee reviewed many submissions received from an open nomination process. The finalists were Theater Askew, Bradford Louryk, Julie Atlas Muz, Radiohole, Lavinia Co-op, David Neumann, John Collins and Taylor Mac.

After extensive review of submitted materials followed by much discussion and debate, the committee selected performance artist Taylor Mac as the first recipient of this prestigious award. Taylor's work references Ethyl's aesthetic while boldly exploring new ground. As an actor, writer, musician and performance artist Taylor constantly challenges himself and his audiences to go to new places and imagine new worlds. His work is visceral, exciting and immediate. P.S. 122 is proud to have him as the first recipient of the Ethyl Eichelberger award and believe he sets the bar high for future nominees.

Ethyl Eichelberger (1945-1990) Standing six feet, two inches tall before donning his trademark stiletto heels and skyscraper wigs, Eichelberger was an imposing figure and a great influence on the East Village performance scene in the 1980s. A classically trained actor, he worked with Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatrical Company before breaking out to do his own work. He wrote nearly 40 plays portraying women of history and myth, including Jocasta, Medea, Nefertiti, Clytemnestra, and Lucrezia Borgia for which he won an Obie. Eichelberger mixed classical references with pop culture and political rants. His shows included accordion playing, fire eating, and high-heeled cartwheels. Singing his trademark song "We are women who survive", Eichelberger was generous in spirit, fearless on stage, and an inspiration to experience. Eichelberger lived with HIV for several years before taking his own life in 1990

Taylor Mac is author and performer of the solo-shows, "The Face of Liberalism," "Okay," and "Cardiac Arrest or Venus on a Half-Clam." He has performed in a variety of venues including PS 122, Joe's Pub, FEZ, The San Francisco Opera House and is currently acting in "Jabu" a new musical written and directed by five time Tony nominee Elizabeth Swados at The Flea. Recently Taylor headlined the 8th annual Queer at Here Festival, appeared in Karen Finley's "Make Love,", shared bills with Obie winners Eric Bogosian, Penny Arcade, Danny Hoch, and Aasif Mandvi, opened for music icon Nina Hagen, and played his first Martian opposite C. Thomas Howell in the Sci-Fi Channel original feature, "Graveland." His plays have been published by Vintage, Smith and Kraus, and Lodestar Quarterly. He is the recipient of the Ensemble Studio Theater's New Voices Fellowship in playwriting and is currently working on a new piece, commissioned by Dixon Placed, entitled "Tarred and Feathered." Taylor performed a different original song every Friday for nine months, at his weekly east village party "DoppelBanger" and he has recently given away three seconds of his fifteen minutes of fame by licking the toe of Jake Shears in the Scissor Sister's music video "Filthy/Gorgeous", directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Last summer Taylor curated, hosted, and performed his "Live Patriot Acts: Patriots Gone Wiiiiild!" at PS 122 (with Rinde Eckert, Mike Albo, Julie Atlas Muz, and others) as a response to the Republican National Conventions coming to NYC. His current show "THE YOUNG LADIES OF" will be presented as a work-in-progress at P.S. 122 from June 2 – June 4.

"Downtown performance maven Taylor Mac thrilled us with his solo show. Clad in a fierce little smidgen of a dress made of white latex gloves, and sporting glittered lipstick, white paint-spattered pumps, a nappy red wig and just an all around air of whacked-out killer fierceness, Mac blew away the full-house crowd with his servings of songs and monologues that were by turns (and sometimes all at once) filthy, hilarious, heartfelt, sentimental, raw, and genuinely moving. Mac attacks it all with smarts, style, and a stark-raving fabulousness." -Next Magazine

LIVE ONSTAGE! is at WEBSTER HALL (125 E. 11th Street @ 4th Ave.) on MONDAY, MAY 2nd at 8:00 p.m. General Admission Tickets are $35.00. VIP Tickets for pre-show cocktail reception and dinner start at $200. Tickets may be purchased by phoning the P.S. 122 Box Office 212-477-5288 or online at

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