Need to Know’s Alex Nikolchev recently spoke with Taylor Mac, playwright and performance artist, at La MaMa theater in New York City, where he was performing his most recent work, “The Walk Across America for Mother Earth,” which is loosely based on Mac’s nine-month protest walk from New York to a Nevada nuclear test site.This coming-of-age story pokes fun at the discord that rises from coalition politics: At different points in the performance, characters debate whether the march will also be to support feminist values or wars in foreign lands. Mac, a seasoned solo artist, refuses to align his stage persona with any specific nationality, race or gender. Rather, he appears almost as a primordial form of human, whose overriding message is tolerance.
“[Through my theater, I] think of myself as a community activist: someone whose job it is to bring people together, give them a shared experience and remind them of what it means to be human,” says Mac.
In this web-exclusive profile, Mac talks about subverting traditional notions of gender, race and citizenship to illuminate the ways in which we are more alike than different.
Photos: Derrick Little
Additional video: Matthew Snead