THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

FEATURES & INTERVIEWS

Taylor Mac

Video: Taylor Mac

The artist, who's currently appearing at Undermain Theatre, talks about his work, drag performance, Tennessee Williams, Lady Gaga and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"



published Friday, February 5, 2010

Taylor Mac is not what most people think of when the term "drag queen" is thrown out. He doesn't lip synch to Whitney Houston, and his dresses aren't about creating the illusion of being an overly made up starlet on the red carpet.

He wears highly imaginative outfits, such as a necklace constructed of deflated balloons; and make-up and hair that come from tribal and ritual traditions—more to the point, the art of mask. He writes his own songs—alternately biting, poignant and funny—and sings them while playing his ukulele. And he writes his own plays, including, a five-act, 36-actor work called The Lily's Revenge that played at New York's HERE Arts Center in 2009.

For the past four years, he has toured his play The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac—he makes the point that his writings are "plays," and not "performance art pieces"—which is a combination of stand-up, monologue, physical theater, political diatribe and musical, created from snippets of the work he has performed in the past decade.

He's currently performing it at Undermain Theatre, making his Texas debut (despite that his father was from Abilene). And yes, you should see it.

For one, he's retiring this play after the performances in Dallas and then Miami. But it's mostly recommended because it is unlike any drag performance you've seen, or might ever see—unless you see him again in something else. He calls himself a "theater artist working in the genre of pastiche," and that's a fitting description. His style comes more from the commedia dell'arte tradition, and his character is similar to the clown Pierrot (which stems from the commedia character Pedrolino).

In this show, Mac is a dreamer and sometimes a sad figure, but he's also bold, intelligent and viciously funny. His songs are brimming with wit, born from personal experience.

TheaterJones sat down with Mac for the video below, to talk about this show and his work. He also discusses the difference between surprise and shock, and goes on about other drag artists, including Charles Ludlam, Charles Busch, Varla Jean Merman and, yes, Lady Gaga. And he offers interesting insight into Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Tennessee Williams and A Streetcar Named Desire.

He's definitely a theater artist first, and his drag persona is a character created to keep himself from being bored with the New York theater world.

If you see the show (really, it is a must) be sure to wear something that stands out—a shiny scarf, brooch, hat, something. As you'll notice in this video, which was conducted in the kitchen of Undermain's underground space, even out of character, he throws a little shine into his ensemble.

It, like his show, is big on the sparkle.

Cover photo of Taylor Mac by Robert Hart of Robert Hart Photography.


 Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Video: Taylor Mac
The artist, who's currently appearing at Undermain Theatre, talks about his work, drag performance, Tennessee Williams, Lady Gaga and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
by Mark Lowry

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Fade Snowflakes Watertower Theatre John Uptown Players UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Plaid Tidings Dallas Opera
Gobsmacked
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit