Adam Szymkowicz Interviews Taylor Mac

October 7, 2011

This content is sourced from Adam Szymkowicz's I Interview Playwrights series.

Taylor Mac

Hometown: Stockton, California. Not the land of the sea but the land of tract housing and blending into nothing.

Current Town: New York City and Southfield, Ma

Q: What are you working on now?

A: A few projects: the libretto for a composed-through musical about the ethics of small government, the philosopher Philippa Foot and her grandfather Grover Cleveland; an all ages play set in an actual mud pit that celebrates failure (and where the entire audience is dressed as frogs); a kitchen-sink drama about the end of men and the changing demographics of our country; and a twenty-four hour concert of the history of popular music.

Q: How would you describe the process by which you create a new piece?

A: It's always different but they tend to use pastiche, which can be confusing because pastiche is often associated with work that's hodgepodge or stolen from other sources. My work is about variance. I like to show the full range of who we are as people and the themes I'm discussing in the work. If we're honest great works of art are often in the genre of pastiche: "War and Peace" is a pastiche of romance novel, critical theory, and history. One could make the same argument (and I do) for any Shakespeare play. My plays often squish genre's, styles, and forms together with the hope that by doing so I'll create work that honors (by acknowledging) the past and present but whose goal is to help dream the culture forward.

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