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VIDEO: Playwright Taylor Mac Calls HIR A Story Of 'Progressive Responsibility'


Often, when you ask artists what their work means, you'll get a response like, "Who do you think it means?" or "I prefer the work to speak for itself."

In a refreshing change of pace, playwright Taylor Mac posts a video explaining the meaning of HIR, now at Playwrights Horizons.

Mac, who prefers to be referred to with the pronoun "judy", is known for performance pieces that challenge traditional perceptions of gender. Judy calls HIR, which gets its title from a pronoun choice that was used by many transgender people in the 1990s, a story of "progressive responsibility."

"We often get so wrapped up in how things should be,' Mac explains, "that we don't often consider what the casualties are."

Due to critical acclaim and popular demand,Playwrights Horizons has announced a second extension of their New York premiere production of Hir, a new play by Obie Award-winning theater artist Taylor Mac (A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, The Lily's Revenge, The Walk Across America for Mother Earth, The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac, The Young Ladies Of). Directed by theater director and performance artist Niegel Smith (Artistic Director of The Flea), Hir is the second production of the theater company's 2015/2016 Season.

Originally announced to extend its limited engagement through Sunday, December 6, Hir has now extended two additional weeks to Sunday, December 20 at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 West 42nd Street). The production began previews Friday, October 16 and had its official opening last night, Sunday, November 8.

The celebrated cast of Hir features Tony Award nominee and two-time Obie Award winner Kristine Nielsen (Crazy Mary, Miss Witherspoon, Betty's Summer Vacation at PH; Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike; You Can't Take It With You; Why Torture Is Wrong...; Dog Opera; "Political Animals"), Daniel Oreskes (The Miracle Worker, Billy Elliott, The Revisionist), transgender teen actor Tom Phelan (Cole on ABC Family's "The Fosters") and Cameron Scoggins (Pocatello, The Big Meal at PH; Lovers).

Somewhere in the suburbs, Isaac (Scoggins) has returned from the wars to help take care of his ailing father (Oreskes), only to discover a household in revolt. The insurgent: his mom (Ms. Nielsen). Liberated from an oppressive marriage, with Isaac's newly out transgender sibling (Phelan) as her ally, she's on a crusade to dismantle the patriarchy. But in Taylor Mac's sly, subversive comedy, annihilating the past doesn't always free you from it.

The production features scenic design by three-time Tony Award nominee David Zinn, costume design by Obie Award winner Gabriel Berry, lighting design by Mike Inwood and sound design by Drama Desk Award winner Fitz Patton. Production Stage Manager is Stephen Milosevich.

HIR had its world premiere at Magic Theatre (San Francisco, CA) in February 2014.

Taylor Mac Interview

Taylor Mac explains the meaning of the title 'Hir,' and how judy's childhood in Stockton, CA inspired the play. Extended through 12/20!

Posted by Playwrights Horizons on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

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