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"A 24-Decade History of Popular Music" at St. Ann's Warehouse. (Photo by Teddy Wolff)

Taylor Mac Wins International Ibsen Award

Thee $300,000 prize will be celebrated with a livestream performance of ‘Holiday Sauce…Pandemic!’

OSLO, NORWAY: The Norwegian Ministry of Culture has named Taylor Mac (judy) the recipient of the International Ibsen Award. Mac is the first American to win the honor. The award, considered to be the Nobel Prize for Theatre, is gifted every two years and comes with a $300,000 cash prize. It is given to an individual or company that has brought new artistic dimensions to the world of drama or theatre.

The International Ibsen Award committee normally announces the winner on Henrik Ibsen’s birthday, March 20, but postponed this year due to COVID-19. The award ceremony is usually presented as part of the Norwegian National Theatre’s biennial Ibsen Festival, which has been postponed and reimagined as a digital celebration. The ceremony will now kick off a special live-streamed event entitled Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce…Pandemic! on Dec. 12 at 8pm EST. The show will feature Mac with longtime collaborators including designer Machine Dazzle, music director Matt Ray, and producers Pomegranate Arts.

“Taylor Mac asks fundamental questions about what theatre should be and why it matters in in the 21st century,” the International Ibsen Award committee released in a statement. “In a world of increased polarization and divisions, Mac crafts work that shows theatre’s potential to bind and unite audiences, to think about how we relate to culture in its various forms, and what it means to engage with other human beings imaginatively, ethically, and politically, through the act of performance.”

Mac is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director, and producer. Judy’s work has been performed at Lincoln Center, the Public Theatre, and Playwrights Horizons, the Hackney Empire, Royce Hall, Guthrie Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, the Sydney Opera House, American Repertory Theatre, Sodra Theatern, the Spoleto Festival, Curran Theater and MOMA, and more. Mac’s works include Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, Hir, The Lily’s Revenge, and A 24-Decade History of Popular Music. Mac is a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama, a Tony nominee for Best Play, and the recipient of multiple awards including the Kennedy Prize, a NY Drama Critics Circle Award, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim, the Herb Alpert in Theater, the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, two OBIEs, and the one judy is most proud to be associated with, an Ethyl Eichelberger Award. An alumnus of New Dramatists, judy is currently a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect, the resident playwright at the Here Arts Center, and the 2020 Artist in Residence at WNET’s ALL ARTS. In 2017, Mac was named a MacArthur Fellow.

“It is a great inspiration to be included in the lineage of Henrik Ibsen, Peter Brook, Ariana Mnouchkine, and all the past recipients of this award,” Mac said in a statement. “It makes me want to get up and play.”

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