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The Lily's Revenge

The Lily's Revenge
(April 21 - May 22, 2011)

by Taylor Mac
directed by Meredith McDonough, Marissa Wolf, Erika Chong Shuch,
Erin Gilley, Jessica Holt & Jessica Heidt

ROLLING WORLD PREMIERE 

When a flower falls in love with a blushing bride, can he complete a quest to become a man and win her love? Should he? Playwright and burlesque performer Taylor Mac, along with dozens of local Bay Area artists, tackle love, marriage, and Prop 8--using vaudeville, haiku, drag queens, ukuleles, feminist theories, dream ballets, public dressing rooms, and everything else in Mr. Mac's theatrical arsenal, A fantastical cornucopia of theatre, party, circus, and social experiment, The Lily's Revenge cross examines with humor, heart, and irreverence one of our oldest institutions.

The Lily’s Revenge is a rolling world premiere with Magic Theatre, HERE Arts Center (New York), Southern Rep Theatre (New Orleans), and The National Theatre of Scotland.

“In its bravery, scope, creativity, extremity and sheer generosity of spirit, The Lily’s Revenge, to my mind, surpasses any American theater in New York this year…This play is not vying for polished immortality; it is living in its moment, which happens also to be ours… Mac’s achievement is as ephemeral as a bloom. See it before it fades into nostalgia itself. You are sure to forget it not”-Adam Feldman (Time Out New York)

“’The Lily’s Revenge’ offers so many incidental pleasures that theatrical time — always a curiously malleable element — seems to contract. To my happy surprise, I emerged from ‘The Lily’s Revenge’ more refreshed than exhausted.’”– Charles Isherwood (The New York Times)

Parental Advisory Notification for The Lily’s Revenge:

Please read the following prior to purchasing tickets for minors: The Lily’s Revenge has explicit content including: sexual themes, nudity, & strong language.

The Lily's Revenge Teaser

Meet the Playwright

Taylor Mac is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, and sometime director and producer.  TimeOut New York has called him, “One of the most exciting theater artists of our time” and American Theater Magazine says, “Mac is one of this country’s most heroic and disarmingly funny playwrights.”

Taylor has performed his plays and concerts at The Sydney Opera House,The San Francisco MOMA and Opera House, New York’s Public Theater,Stockholm’s Sodra Teatern, The Spoleto Festival, The Bumbershoot Festival,The Time Based Arts Festival, Dublin’s Project Arts Center, London’s SohoTheater, and literally hundreds of other theaters, museums, music halls,cabarets, and festivals around the globe.  He has acted in many original plays(by others), dozens of revivals, and in featured roles on television with TheBBC2, BBC4, MTV, and The Sci-Fi Channel.

Some awards include: a 2010 Obie (for The Lily’s Revenge) a McKnight NationalCommissioning Award (for his most recent play The Walk Across AmericaFor Mother Earth), a Sundance Theater Lab Residency, a HERE Arts Centerresidency, a Creative Capital Grant, The James Hammerstein Award forplaywriting, and the one he is most proud of, an Ethyl Eichelberger Award. Heis currently a member of New Dramatists, resides in New York and is thrilled tobe back in San Francisco where, in 1993, he made his professional performancedebut in Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon. For more information on Taylorcheck out www.taylormac.net.

The Lily's Revenge is dedicated to the memory of Tracey Trevett with great love.

Meet the Directors

Erika Chong Shuch is a choreographer and director who makes original performance work with her company, the Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project, a resident company at Intersection for the Arts.  The company was commissioned by Dancers’ Group’s ONSITE program to present Love Everywhere (2010) and by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to present After All (2008). A recipient of the Gerbode Foundation’s Emerging Choreographer’s Award and a Goldie Award, Erika’s work has been supported by residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts and Djerassi Residency Program.  Erika worked under the mentorship of Joe Goode through CHIME, a program of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. She recently directed God’s Ear, by Jenny Schwartz, at Shotgun Players, which was voted Best Play of the Year by the East Bay Express. In Korea, Erika has recently been working on a new piece inspired by personal accounts from North Korean civilian reporters which will premiere through the SF International Arts Festival.  Erika teaches workshops to folks interested in creating interdisciplinary work.  Please join the fun! www.erikachongshuch.org

Erin Gilley is returning to Magic after years on staff as Artistic Producer. Erin is thrilled to join this insanely talented team of artists for the great Lily's Revenge adventure.  An artist whose work includes directing, acting, and videography, Erin’s Bay Area directing credits include: Equus (Boxcar Theatre); The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Deal, Beautiful, Abducted (elastic future); Wreckage (Crowded Fire); Criminal Genius, Making Noise Quietly (TheatreFirst); The Woods, The Mystery at Twicknam Vicarage (Atmos Theatre); and Heavy Days (Shotgun Players Lab).  Erin has designed video projections for many Bay Area theatres including Marin Theatre Company and Crowded Fire, and her video art installation Not I was featured in Root Division's gallery show Blackout. Erin is the founding artistic director of elastic future and a resident artist with Crowded Fire Theatre.  Erin studied theatre at Princeton University where she was awarded the Frances LeMoyne Page Award for directing, and is originally from the mountains of northwest Georgia.  www.eringilley.com

Jessica Heidt is thrilled to be back at Magic Theater where she served as Associate Artistic Director for 9 years and directed world premiere productions by Betty Shamieh (The Black Eyed, Territories) and Chantal Bilodeau (Pleasure and Pain). Jessica is currently the Artistic Director of Climate Theater where she recently directed the world premiere of The Man of Rock by Daniel Heath, The Bright River by Tim Barsky (Climate/Brava), and (((Jawvox))) by Joshua Walters. She has also directed at Aurora Theatre, Brava Theater, AlterTheatre, Abydos, Playground and The Lark (NYC) and Snap Judgment Productions (NPR). SF Weekly named her Best Director 2007. She has worked as a casting director with many Bay Area film and theater companies including Aurora Theatre, BBC Radio, Encore Theatre, Magic Theatre, Reflective Films, SF Playhouse, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Theater on the Square, and Traveling Jewish Theater. She teaches at institutions across the Bay Area, including the University of San Francisco, San Jose State University, A.C.T., and Film Acting Bay Area. Climate Theater

Jessica Holt is a Bay Area director, producer and teacher who has directed at Berkeley Playhouse, Boxcar Theater, Cutting Ball Theater, Magic Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Playwrights Foundation, PianoFight Productions, Shotgun Players, and TheatreWorks among others. Her 2009 production of Loot by Joe Orton was nominated for a Bay Area Theatre Critic Circle award for Best Direction and Best Ensemble. She is the Artistic Director of Three Wise Monkeys Theatre Company and produces its Bay One Acts Festival (BOA) of short new plays annually. She is also the Artistic Director and co-founder of Threshold, a theatre company that produces challenging, innovative new work. Jessica is a member of the Magic Theatre’s Artists Lab, the Playwrights Foundation literary selection committee and the Cutting Ball Theater literary committee. A passionate advocate for arts in education, she currently teaches theatre at West Valley College and is a teaching artist in the Marin schools for Marin Theatre Company. Additionally, she has taught at University of California, Berkeley, NCTC, Evergreen Valley College, Academy of Art University and Stanford University. Jessica holds Master’s degree in Performance Studies from University of California, Berkeley. Three Wise Monkeys

Meredith McDonough is the Director of New Works at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, where she directed the world premiere of Auctioning the Ainsleys and Opus. Previous to moving to the Bay Area, she was a in New York City, where she worked with the Atlantic Theatre Company, Keen Company, Ars Nova and the Women’s Project, amongst others. Regionally, she directed the premieres of Fair Use at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Hazard County at Actors Express in Atlanta, and the DC premiere of the musical Summer of ’42. She has also directed numerous premieres in the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she was a resident director and teacher for three seasons. She is the Associate Artistic Director of The Orchard Project, a retreat for theatre companies in upstate NY, and an Artistic Affiliate of American Blues Theatre in Chicago. She was the New Works Director for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, a Drama League Fellow, and a Kesselring Award Panelist. BS, Northwestern University; MFA, UCSD; member SSDC.  TheatreWorks New Works Initiative

Marissa Wolf is currently in her third season as the Artistic Director of Crowded Fire Theater. Wolf’s recent directing credits include Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven by Young Jean Lee (Co-Produced by Crowded Fire and Asian American Theater Company), The Secretaries by The Five Lesbian Brothers, DRIP by Christina Anderson, Gone by Charles Mee (Crowded Fire), the Bay Area Premiere of Thom Pain (based on nothing) by Will Eno, listed as #1 on Bay Area Critic Sam Hurwitt’s 2009 Top Ten list, (Cutting Ball Theater), Truce by Marilee Talkington (Vanguardian Productions), and her experimental adaptations both of Gertrude Stein's long poem, Lifting Belly and Marguerite Duras’ story The Malady of Death (FoolsFURY Theater). She has directed workshop productions with Playwrights Foundation, the National New Play Network, Shotgun Players, and Berkeley Playhouse. Marissa previously held the Bret C. Harte Directing Internship at Berkeley Repertory Theatre for two years, where she assisted renowned directors, including Tony Taccone, Les Waters, Lisa Peterson, Annie Dorsen, Frank Galati, and Mary Zimmerman. Marissa has her degree in drama from Vassar College, and received additional training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Crowded Fire Theater

Christopher Winslow (Music Director) is thrilled to be working with this wonderful cast and crew at the Magic Theatre.  His original musical piece Calling The Kettle is currently showing as part of the Best of PlayGround series at the Thick House.  A new musical comedy that he composed, OMFG! The Internet Dating Musical, will premiere at ODC Theatre in July as part of his artist-in-residency.  One of a Kind, a solo show, will be presented at Magnet SF in December.  To all those friends who said "Do you know what you're getting yourself into?" the answer is "Yes, what a delight!"

Fun facts to know and tell about The Lily's Revenge

How do I describe The Lily’s Revenge to my friends?

The Lily’s Revenge is a fantastical 5-hour cornucopia of theatre, party and circus; think of it as a wedding, an epic collaborative happening that is a bold, playful, theatrical adventure. Experience the sacred and secular through ritual, feasting, and celebration around the ideas of marriage, love, nostalgia and progress.

“In its bravery, scope, creativity, extremity and sheer generosity of spirit, The Lily’s Revenge,to my mind, surpasses any American theater in New York this year…This play is not vying for polished immortality; it is living in its moment, which happens also to be ours… Mac’s achievement is as ephemeral as a bloom. See it before it fades into nostalgia itself. You are sure to forget it not”-Adam Feldman (Time Out New York)

Is there a story?

Yes, The Lily’s Revenge tells the story of a flower that goes on a quest to become a man in order to wed his beloved bride.

Wow, 5 hours? What will we do for that long and won’t we get hungry?

Not a chance. There are three intermissions, the first of which will be a communal dinner. During all three, there will be an endless supply of affordable wines by the glass and a variety of sweets provided by Magic. The Lily’s Revenge is 5 fun-filled hours where you will experience a wild range of theatrical phenomenon from vaudeville musical to verse play (complete with a Haiku-off); from mystical dream ballet to retro film, all culminating in an interactive town hall extravaganza to complete the evening.

“’The Lily’s Revenge’ offers so many incidental pleasures that theatrical time — always a curiously malleable element — seems to contract. To my happy surprise, I emerged from ‘The Lily’s Revenge’ more refreshed than exhausted.’” – Charles Isherwood (The New York Times)

How will we have time to have dinner during an intermission?

Dinner is planned into the event! For the bargain price of $15 or less, Our collaborators at Cooks & Company, Off the Grid, and The Fort Mason Center Farmer’s Market will be providing you with a gourmet meal that you will be able to order in advance so it is ready and waiting at the first act break. Dine under the stars by the bay or while sitting comfortably in our Magic lounge while relaxing with your friends.

Who is this Taylor Mac?

Taylor Mac is a native of Stockton, CA and began his career right here as a Bay Area performer. Mac is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, sometime director/producer and current member of New Dramatists. He was awarded the Obie for the first of the rolling premieres of The Lily’s Revenge in New York in 2010. The Lily’s Revenge was also rated the best play in 2009 by Time Out NY and Paper Magazine and was put on the Top Ten lists of many other publications including The New Yorker and The New York Post. For the last month, Taylor Mac has been on tour in Australia and New Zealand performing his most recent piece to sold out audiences down under including four shows at the legendary Sydney Opera House.

Lily's Revenge Community Partners

Erika Chong Shuch Project, The Climate Theater, THEOFFCENTER, Crowded Fire Bay Area One Acts, TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, and Elastic Future

To see what has been written about The Lily's Revenge check out the following links:

Rob Hurwitt (San Francisco Chronicle)

SFist Reviews: The Lily's Revenge at The Magic Theater

Chloe Veltman (Bay Citizen)

Chad Jones (Theatre Dogs)

SF Theatre Blog

Robert Avila (SF Bay Guardian)

George Heymot (My Cultural Landscape Blog)

Jean Schiffman (SF Examiner)

Lily Janiak (SF Bay Times)

George Heymont (The Huffington Post)

Dreaming Big

A Conversation with Taylor Mac
Interview By: Jayne Benjulian

“I was an authentic failure,” Taylor Mac said. “I wanted to work in theater, but they wouldn’t have me.” Now Taylor wants to throw the most generous theater party ever given, a party that invites us to come as we are. He wrote The Lily’s Revenge to build his own community. Or communities: in New York, San Francisco, Glasgow, Edinburgh and New Orleans. Taylor’s dreams are big dreams. His idea of community is 360 degrees: The audience is asked to consider the meaning of community, as are the actors. For example, Taylor doesn’t audition: he has a conversation with people who want to be in the show. Thus we have performers in Lily who are strippers and vaudeville performers as well as veteran equity actors. Just as genres of theater mix inLily, communities of artists mix, evidence to Taylor that people are capable of dispatching their compartmentalized norms.

A flower wants to marry a woman but can’t because he’s a flower. For just about anyone who can breathe in San Francisco, that story is a metaphor for gay marriage. To its creator, that’s not all. If the flower is a metaphor for gay marriage, then gay marriage is a metaphor for how we create myths to foster or tear down community.Lily is a work of great ambition and scope, yet it is completely accessible. The great human comedy—our flaws, our failures and our fears—is its subject. Other than Taylor himself, Magic is Lily’s first producer. Its great, messy ambition, its sexuality and raw openness, its romance with the ordinary, and its dream of what America is and might be recall Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, another self-published American epic.

JB

The last time we spoke, you said to me, “the most wonderful thing on stage is authentic failure.” What does that mean to you?

TM

You know, perfection is incredible, perfection is vocal athletics. Perfection is… that Laurence Olivier style of acting, where the technique is so perfect, at least his earlier stage acting… you see that, and you say, wow that’s perfect, that is a physical feat. That’s the Olympics, that’s like stage-acting Olympics. And it’s interesting to watch, it’s fascinating to watch, and it’s inspiring: look what a human being is capable of. But there’s not a lot of vulnerability in that, I think. If you’re brave enough to fail on stage, authentically fail, not like pretend fail but actually fail, there’s nothing braver than that. I don’t want the work to be so perfect that it stops being human. It starts being an exercise in perfection. People talk about the perfect play all the time, and I just think, what are they talking about? Oh, that’s one of Shakespeare’s flawed plays. Oh come on, all of his plays are flawed; that’s why they’re so good. If they are perfect plays, I don’t want to see them—I don’t care. I don’t know what that is, a perfect play. There’s got to be room for vulnerability somewhere. It’s saying something to me that the creators are risking more than just applause, the standing O. at the end of the show. If I see a piece of theater, and I feel they’re risking, they’ve figured out that the applause isn’t what’s important. There’s nothing better than watching someone come out of authentic failure and still manage to tell the story and still manage to do their craft, having gone to that really dark place of failing.

JB

People have said, in advising writers, go to the dark place, go to the place you are most afraid to write about.

TM

To write my plays, I say, what is the one thing I don’t want the audience to know about me? And I say, okay, that’s what this play is going to be about.

JB

Metaphorically.

TM

Yes. You can turn it into metaphor and protect yourself in some ways, but if you risk, the audience will care and see themselves in it somehow. But you don’t have to only go to that dark place—I feel that’s true, but that’s not all of what humanity is. If that’s all you do, then maybe you’re not exercising the full range of who you are as a human being and as an artist and as a storyteller. The idea is to go to that dark place but also to be able to go to the light place as well, which is sometimes more difficult for people.

JB

For months and months we’ve been talking about Taylor, the playwright, Taylor the creator. Today in rehearsal, hearing you sing, I was struck by your voice: Taylor, the performer.

TM

I love that you guys came across me as a playwright, instead of a performer, because usually it’s the opposite, and people pooh-pooh my plays because I do drag. Or because it makes people laugh. Aristophanes was always dismissed—anyone who makes people laugh gets dismissed. But that’s not all the work does. It’s not just some romp. It’s not just shtick.

JB

It is part romp.

TM

And I’m a huge fan of a romp. But that’s not all it is.

JB

Is performing what’s driven you to write?

TM

I think I just had things to say, and I wanted to say them. I was spending all this time asking for permission to be creative—as an actor auditioning, that‘s what you do: you’re asking for permission to be creative… Everybody said, being an actor is hard, you have to audition and get things, and I thought, okay, well, I think I can get jobs from auditioning, but what I didn’t understand is that I wouldn’t be able to get the audition… And so I spent almost 10 years in New York trying to audition for things and not being able to audition, because I didn’t have an agent, couldn’t get an agent because I couldn’t get an audition for an agent, couldn’t get the roles, because without the agent you can’t get the audition. I spent thousands of dollars trying to network, sending out postcards and telling people what I was doing, all these off-off-Broadway plays, working non-stop, but not getting paid for it, occasionally finding my way in… and being in the worst movie I’ve ever seen, this Sci-Fi channel movie called Crimson Force—I play a Martian priest named Zoo—and it’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen. After all these years of trying to get the audition and finally getting it, your prize is to be in the worst movie you’ve ever seen. That is not a life that I wanna live. That’s when I realized: you have to make your own work.

JB

So you made your own work, and then you produced it.

TM

That’s how it started. I wrote a play, and I was pretty proud of it, and sent it around, and I would get feedback things from people…and this one reader wrote: There is nothing good about this play.

[Laughter ensues]

I got tons of letters from these people. Well, I spent all this time working on this play, so I produced staged readings, and they were going over really well, and I worked with Romulus Linney on it. He was the first playwriting mentor I ever had. Slowly, I was inching my way into the theater community, but the access was so intense, it’s so hard for people who are clearly—this is their calling, this is what they’re supposed to be doing. It is so hard for them to get access to the institutions. It is one of my goals and aspirations for my career to try to figure out a way to break down those walls a little bit more so are institutions are not acting like palaces. I am not the only one doing this.

JB

How will you do that?

TM

There’s a really neat artistic director at the Nuffield Theatre in Lancaster, England; his first season, he said, I’m not going to curate the season. What we’re going to do is, we’re going to ask 30 artists we’ve worked with in the past to nominate artists whose work they’d like to see here, and anyone whose work gets nominated twice, we’ll do.So I got to perform there. I think that if theaters really want to create interesting theater, they have to open it up to people who are out there doing it and who need the opportunities to become better... The lobbies need to be opened up for people to be doing their work. Instead of creating the palace with the box office in front, the lobby, and then you walk in, and it’s a theater. I’m kind of well known in New York at this point, and I don’t have access to the major institutions in New York. And I find it disturbing. It shouldn’t be as hard as it is, especially if you’ve clearly proven that you know what you’re doing.

JB

Is that why you didn’t audition performers for this work?

TM

Yes. I feel like, if somebody comes highly recommended, if you sit down with them and you fall in love with them as a person, and you see them in work, and you love it, that’s all you need—that you need to trust artists, people who have dedicated their lives to working on their craft, that they have something to offer… We did not audition for Lily, and I am so proud of that. And that first reading, I felt so vindicated. Had we auditioned, we wouldn’t have gotten a better cast.

JB

Why did you decide to have an entirely local cast?

TM

It’s a play about community, so if you plop down your community from somewhere else, it feels like you are showing off your community instead of building it, so I wanted the audience here to know that the performers are part of the world they live in.

JB

When was the first time you dressed up to perform as a woman?

TM

I don’t perform as a woman. I perform as me in a heightened circumstance. I say, what do I look like on the inside? What do I look like when I’m not hiding? When I wear my jeans and my T-shirt, that’s when I’m hiding; that’s when I’m blending in with everybody else on the street, and I could just pass as a regular guy. Nobody would notice me. But on stage, you need to stand out in some way, whether it be the circumstances of the play, or the character you’re dealing with is extraordinary, or an ordinary character in an extraordinary circumstance, and that’s gonna make you stand out in a play. In a performance—some people call it performance art, I just call it theater, because it’s all theater—the material can help you stand out, but also what can help you stand out is aesthetics. And so, I said to myself, what do I look like on the inside? What am I normally hiding? And it turned out that it was this conceptual drag. It was this masculine and feminine and highly theatrical pastiche of this creature. That’s what I am on the inside. I am never pretending to be a woman when I’m on stage.

JB

Lily dismantles theatrical rules—the stage, the audience, time, the curtain—to unpack societal rules. Why is that important?

TM

Rules are used to keep us docile and imprisoned in the past. I wanted a new myth to help us live in the present. I’m not experimental; I’m traditional. Realism has only been around for about 100 years. Think of epic theatre versus short, short theater.

JB

Let’s talk about scale and duration.

TM

I love long form.

JB

Why?

TM

I fell in love with it while working on Lily… I’ve noticed that as the culture is getting more and more prone to fast entertainment, plays are getting shorter and shorter. Given, the Greek plays were only 90 minutes, but they did them in one day. It feels like our culture is getting smaller, smaller, smaller; it’s getting reduced, reduced, reduced. Working on Lily I fell in love with long form because I see that the audience comes with a different expectation… They’re making a commitment. It’s more investment in the experience. And it often takes more than 90 minutes to break someone out of the routine of his day—90 minutes isn’t always enough to break you out of eight hours of working. There’s more room in long form for heterogeneity, to explore a range of ideas… Death of a Salesman cannot be a 30-minute play or even a 90-minute play.

JB

Why the wedding structure?

TM

I got this from Sondheim: The content dictates the form. It’s not the only way to work, but it’s the way I enjoy working. I say, okay, what’s this play about? This play is about traditions and myths and how traditions and myths can be used to tear community down or foster community. It’s about how it’s time for us to start creating new traditions and new myths in order to help us live in the present moment so that we as a collective can dream the culture forward. And it just seemed to me the big issue happening in our country was Prop. 8 and gay marriage. And that was one of the things that led me down the path of thinking about how traditions and myths are used in our culture, and I went to the wedding of one of my dearest friends, Kat. I’ve known her since I was 10—she’s in the show. It was my first lesbian wedding, and I was very pooh-poohey about it, and I found it to be an emotional experience when I went. I was very judgmental that way about weddings. We’re queers. Aren’t we supposed to be above weddings? Weddings are really asking for community.

JB

And community is?

TM

I belong.

JB

Why did you write this play now?

TM

Why I wrote the play now is this growing movement of the Tea party, the Bush years, this strong movement to take us back instead of allowing us to live in the present moment and drive this culture forward. Today is the day legislation is being created against the counter-culture. Anti-gay marriage agendas use tradition and nostalgia as an argument for oppression. For example, “Marriage has always been between a man and a woman.”

JB

What is drag?

TM

To me, drag is the story you are telling. It’s all drag, the saying goes. You wear audience drag if you’re an audience member. You wear construction drag if you’re a construction worker; you wear flower drag if you’re playing a flower in a play; you wear female impersonation drag if you’re a female impersonator drag queen. It’s all drag. People have told the story of the hero’s journey many times. How did they tell it? Oedipus is a hero’s journey. How was Oedipus told back in its day? Now how are we gonna tell the story today in its present moment? Gay people were in the closet a hundred years ago. So of course, marriage was between a man and a woman. The story people need to tell today is, anybody can get married.

And you can use a wedding to say, we’re getting married. Celebrate us. Thank you. Or you can use a wedding to say, we’re reaching out to you, we want you all to be part of our world. And I do say this in the play: weddings are essentially bad community theater. You see the father in law stand up, and he doesn’t know how to give the speech and it’s so painful but also so glorious. He’s not a public speaker, but he’s being brave enough to speak in front of people. It’s both just horrendous and the most inspirational thing ever. And one more thing—I don’t think I’m ever going to have a wedding, so I thought, well what would my wedding be like? And it is The Lily’s Revenge.

JB

A year from now, The National Theatre of Scotland will produce The Lily’s Revenge. Will you perform in that production?

TM

Yes. In Glasgow and London.

JB

And then you will turn Lily loose. What will that be like—to have it performed without you?

TM

I have one more time [in Scotland] to get the script in the kind of shape for a production without me—because scripts have to be in a different shape for when you’re not involved in the production for people to understand. You know, I’m filling in a lot of the blanks here.

JB

What is The Lily’s Revenge?

TM

The longest strip-tease known to man. It’s my wedding. It’s my hope. Please come gather around. Let’s say, oh, look at all these things that have come before to create the present moment. Look at all these amazing things Japanese Noh did; the Elizabethans with their blank verse; vaudeville numbers; burlesque; Beckett. Now let’s figure out how we can do them in this present moment. It takes the entire play to do those things, up until we pull the Great Longing down. Now that we’re here in the present moment, what do we do with it? We ask the audience to consider.

Please note "The Lily's Revenge"  is a fantastical 5-hour cornucopia of theatre, party and circus.  Please plan accordingly.

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