Written by Taylor Mac
Directed by Paul Zimet
Music by Ellen Maddow
Costume Design by Machine Dazzle
Set Design by Anna Kiraly
Lighting Design by Lenore Doxsee
Production Stage Manager Robert Signom III
With: Will Badgett, Viva Deconcini, James Tigger! Ferguson, Daphne Gaines, Ellen Maddow, Taylor Mac, Frank Paiva, Steven Rattazzi, Tina Shepard, Jack Wetherall, Alex Zehetbauer, Nikki Zialcita
2011: January 15–30, La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre, NYC
Taylor Mac and the Talking Band bring to the stage a new play about the nine-month protest walk from New York to the Nevada Nuclear Test Site.
Eighteen and eager to flee his suburban conservative upbringing, Taylor joined a group of political activists, ageing hippies, baby hippies, punks, anarchists, dykes, radical fairies, men, women, senior citizens, and children on a nine-month walk across the United States.
Re-told and re-imagined by Taylor, Walk asks its artists and audiences to take a second look at how the idea of community sometimes fails to unite us, and sometimes brings us together in the most surprising ways.
“… An inspired and inspiring new play by the downtown writer and performer Taylor Mac.
Mr. Mac, who generally appears with his face painted like a Pucci print, in outlandish garb that might have caused jaws to drop in a 1980s nightclub, has written big plays … and small plays … A singer-songwriter as well as an actor and director, he has established a devoted cult following among what’s left of the East Village glitterati. But with this new play, a sweet and satiric meditation on the beautiful folly of idealism, he establishes himself as a writer and artist of serious consequence.
… At its deepest level “The Walk Across America for Mother Earth” celebrates the people who search for meaning in life by striving for social change, even if their motives are mixed and success remains stubbornly elusive. As Mr. Mac himself observes in this smart, funny and ultimately quite moving play, for idealists — and for artists — failure and success can look an awful lot alike.”
– Charles Isherwood, The New York Times
“It’s a trip not to be missed.
Taylor Mac is a treasure. His captivating shenanigans are original, heady, and immensely smart. The hybrid nature of his technique allows profound ideas to be swathed in paillettes, without diminishing their truth. He creates characters with respect, amusement, benevolence, and insight. Additionally, an able thespian, Mac elicits empathy, moves well, and sings (who knew?!) beautifully.
Ellen Maddow’s songs are artful and inventive.
The company is terrific, not only with emotional dramatization, but also physical performance.
Director Paul Zimet uses a large space as if it were canvas. He’s compositionally interesting while at the same time in keeping with the tale being told. The playfulness with which he has helmed this unconventional work, is blithe, brisk and filled with delightful little embellishments. Taking amusement seriously, he manages a deft balance. With work as broad as that of Taylor Mac, this is a necessity.
The Walk Across America For Mother Earth is ingenious, deranged, and fun. It’s also crammed with wisdom. Don’t worry, you won’t feel it as weighty. Taylor Mac is too clever by half for that.
– Alix Cohen, Woman Around Town