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Photo by Zack DeZon

Photo by Zack DeZon

Letters

A Letter From Taylor Mac

I didn’t go to grad school; I went to Playwrights Horizons. Though this season is my first time working with them in the twenty-plus years I’ve been living and working in New York, I feel like they’ve been a collaborator of mine that entire time. I’ve seen just about every production they’ve done since 1994, learning about the craft of playwriting, acting, theater making, and more importantly, the ideas, machinations, and hopes of the human experience. The works at Playwrights Horizons, time and time again, are works of consequence — plays that are active participants in the world. They have visions, desires, and a need to affect our culture, communities, and relationships.

I know I’ve become a better person because of the work I’ve experienced over the years at Playwrights. 

And perhaps it’s because the plays and musicals they produce are helping to dream our culture forward, that Playwrights Horizons is moving the non-profit theater world forward too.  They’re the only theater to offer playwrights a health insurance subsidy, and one of the first theaters in America to pay playwrights for rehearsal time. They understand that the playwright’s voice is at the foundation of our culture and that supporting their health and ability to make their art is, in turn, nudging, inching, sometimes shoving our culture forward.

Playwrights Horizons understands that part of a playwright’s job is to be a student of humanity; to figure out what makes us tick and what we need in order to advance as a culture, nation, and species. They create work that challenges the status quo, that expands our understanding of who we are, and moves us deeper into our considerations of the world around us. 

I know I’ve become a better person because of the work I’ve experienced over the years at Playwrights. I’m smarter, braver, more compassionate, and more engaged. I know I’m not the only one because I’ve seen how the work on their stages, over the years, has trickled up and around the country. It’s not a coincidence that the national conversation about transgender rights started after Playwrights Horizons produced I Am My Own Wife, the play about a transgender antiques maven.

The wonderful thing about choosing to do works of consequence is that it doesn’t stop on the stage. The audience members become collaborators because they take the work with them into the world and further the conversation Playwrights Horizons, and the artists who work there, put forth. Playwrights Horizons has been collaborating with us all, all these years, and I can’t wait to see what new observations and ideas they’ll be inviting us to work with them on next. With your support, we’ll all have the opportunity to continue this work together. 

Sincerely,

Taylor Mac
Playwright, Hir

November 2015

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