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Taylor Mac's HIR Extends Again at Playwrights Horizons

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 (Playwright). Taylor Mac (who uses "judy", lowercase sic, not as a name but as a gender pronoun) has had judy's plays/works presented/produced at New York City's Lincoln Center and The Public Theatre, the Sydney Opera House, American Repertory Theatre, Stockholm's Sodra Theatern, the Spoleto Festival, the SF MOMA and literally hundreds of other theatres, museums, music halls, opera houses, cabarets and festivals around the globe. Judy is the author of seventeen full-length plays and performance pieces including The Lily's Revenge (Obie Award), The Walk Across America for Mother Earth (named "One of the Best Plays of 2011" by The New York Times), The Young Ladies Of (Chicago's Jeff Award nomination for best solo), and in collaboration with Mandy Patinkin, Susan Stroman and Paul Ford, Mac created The Last Two People On Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville. Mac is currently creating a 24-hour durational performance work called, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, as well as a Dionysia Festival of four original plays, which deal in some way with our cultural polarization and that include: Hir; The Fre (commissioned by The Children's Theater Company, premiere date TBD); The Bourgeois Oligarch (commissioned by The American Repertory Theater, premiere date TBD); and a site-specific musical set in NYC's The Rambles about Harry Hay and the Radical Fairy movement. Mac is an alumnus of both the HERE Arts Center Resident Artists program and New Dramatists.

Niegel Smith (Director) is a theater director and performance artist. He is the Artistic Director of NYC's Obie Award-winning theater The Flea and ringleader of Willing Participant (, an artistic activist organization that whips up urgent poetic responses to crazy shit that happens. His theater work has been produced by Classical Theatre of Harlem, HERE Arts Center, Hip Hop Theatre Festival, The Invisible Dog, Luna Stage, Magic Theatre, Mixed Blood, New York Fringe Festival, New York Live Arts, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, The Public Theater, Summer Play Festival, Todd Theatre and Under the Radar, and his participatory performances have been produced by Abrons Arts Center, American Realness, Dartmouth College, Elastic City, The Invisible Dog, Jack, The New Museum, Prelude Festival, PS 122, the Van Alen Institute and Visual AIDS. He often collaborates with playwright/performer Taylor Mac and with artist Todd Shalom. Smith was the associate director of the Tony Award winning musical FELA! - restaging that production in London, Lagos and its world tour, assistant directed the Off-Broadway production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and both the Broadway and Off-Broadway productions of Tony Kushner's Caroline, or Change. He has worked on the artistic staffs of The Public Theater, Trinity Repertory Company and Providence Black Rep. He is Associate Artistic Director and board member of participatory walks organization, Elastic City. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Smith has received residencies, grants and/or fellowships from Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Sundance Theatre Lab, Theater Communications Group, Tucker Foundation, Van Lier Fund and VoxFest.

Kristine Nielsen (Paige). Playwrights Horizons: Crazy Mary, Miss Witherspoon, Betty's Summer Vacation (Obie Award, Drama Desk and OCC nominations). Broadway: You Can't Take It with You, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony nomination, OCC and Richard Seff awards), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Spring Awakening, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Green Bird, Jackie: An American Life, The Iceman Cometh. Off-Broadway: What I Did Last Summer; Love, Loss, and What I Wore; Why Torture Is Wrong (OCC nomination); Die Mommy Die!; Our Leading Lady; Based on a Totally True Story; The Wonder of the World; Comic Potential; Omnium Gatherum; The Underpants; Dog Opera (Obie Award); Pericles; Machinal. Recent Television: "The Sound of Music Live," "Political Animals," "Smash."

Daniel Oreskes (Arnold). Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway: The Miracle Worker, Billy Elliott, Cymbeline, Aida, Electra, The Song of Jacob Zulu. Off-Broadway: The Revisionist, The Twenty-Seventh Man, Russian Transport, A Perfect Future, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jayson with a Y, Terrorism, Roar, Henry V, Julius Caeser, The Fourth Sister, Cellini, Mr. Peter's Connections, The Devils, Quills, Troilus and Cressida, Richard II, Othello, Henry IV.

Tom Phelan (Max) made headlines this year, becoming the first transgender teen actor to portray a transgender teen on a major network show, ABC Family's groundbreaking series "The Fosters." Credits with Pasadena's Theatre 360 include Hair, Spring Awakening, The Authors' Voice and School for Scandal. Hir is Tom's Playwrights Horizons and New York stage debut.

Cameron Scoggins (Isaac). Playwrights Horizons: Pocatello, The Big Meal. Off-Broadway: Lovers (Becket Theatre). Regional: On Golden Pond (Triad Stage). Juilliard Theatre: Proof, Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Ionescopade, American Clock, Hedda Gabler and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Film/TV: Ironweed, Hunter and Game, The Happy Sad, "The Blacklist," "Only Human," "Black Box," "Person of Interest," "Elementary," "The Good Wife."

Playwrights Horizons is a writer's theater dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American playwrights, composers and lyricists and to the production of their new work. Under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus, the theater company continues to encourage the new work of veteran writers while nurturing an emerging generation of theater artists. In its 45 years, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of more than 400 writers and has received numerous awards and honors, including a special 2008 Drama Desk Award for "ongoing support to generations of theater artists and undiminished commitment to producing new work." Notable productions include six Pulitzer Prize winners - Annie Baker's The Flick (2013 Obie Award, 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park (2012 Tony Award, Best Play), Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles (1989 Tony Award, Best Play), Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George - as well as Ms. Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation (three 2010 Obie Awards including Best New American Play); Lisa D'Amour's Detroit (2013 Obie Award, Best New American Play); Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale (2013 Lortel Award, Best Play); Kirsten Greenidge's Milk Like Sugar (2012 Obie Award); Lucas Hnath's The Christians (2015 Kesselring Prize), Robert O'Hara's Bootycandy (two 2015 Obie Awards); Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss and Dead Man's Cell Phone; Gina Gionfriddo's Rapture, Blister, Burn; Dan LeFranc's The Big Meal; Amy Herzog's The Great God Pan and After the Revolution; Bathsheba Doran's Kin; Adam Bock's A Small Fire; Edward Albee's Me, Myself & I; Melissa James Gibson's This (2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist); Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens (three 2007 Tony Awards); Craig Lucas's Prayer For My Enemy and Small Tragedy (2004 Obie Award, Best American Play); Adam Rapp's Kindness; Lynn Nottage's Fabulation (2005 Obie Award for Playwriting); Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero; David Greenspan's She Stoops to Comedy (2003 Obie Award); Kirsten Childs's The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (2000 Obie Award); Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey's James Joyce's The Dead (2000 Tony Award, Best Book); Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins; William Finn's March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland; Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You; Richard Nelson's Goodnight Children Everywhere; Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's Once on This Island; Jon Robin Baitz's The Substance of Fire; Scott McPherson's Marvin's Room; A.R. Gurney's Later Life; Adam Guettel and Tina Landau's Floyd Collins; and Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

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