Tony-nominated performer-playwright Taylor Mac is the first American to win the International Ibsen Award. Conferred by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and referred to as the "Nobel Prize for Theatre," the honor comes with a cash prize of $300,000.
The award comes as Mac prepares to release an album based on another of judy's shows, Holiday Sauce, due November 13. The album will celebrate "the holidays we hate with unique renditions of songs we love," with tracks including holiday classics like "God Rest Ye Gentlemen," "Silent Night," and "Little Drummer Boy," along with an original song "Christmas with Grandma" and newer works such as Graham Nash'a "Cathedral" and Velvet Underground's "The Black Angel's Death Song" and "All Tomorrow's Parties."
The album's first single, "All Tomorrow's Parties/Little Drummer Boy," is currently available to stream on Bandcamp.
Mac, who uses the pronoun judy, has dedicated the album to Mother Flawless Sabrina, judy's drag mother, who passed away weeks before Mac premiered the Holiday Sauce live show at New York City's Town Hall in 2017.
Mac will join with longtime collaborators designer Machine Dazzle and music director Matt Ray to present Taylor Mac's Holiday Sauce...Pandemic!, a live streamed event blending music, film, burlesque, and "random acts of fabulousness" December 12 at 8 PM.
"Taylor Mac asks fundamental questions about what theatre should be and why it matters in in the twenty-first century," says the International Ibsen Award Committee. "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 made judy's Broadway debut as a playwright in 2019 with Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, though is perhaps best known for the epic 24-hour work, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, a 2017 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Other works include Hir, The Walk Across America for Mother Earth, The Lily's Revenge, The Young Ladies Of, Red Tide Blooming, and The Be(A)st of Taylor Mac.