The Lily’s Revenge
“Best Theater of 2009”:  The New Yorker, TimeOut NY (Adam Feldman and David Cote), The New York Post, Paper Magazine,,,, and

“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.  (Taylor Mac) is one of the most exciting theater artists of our time.”  -- Adam Feldman, TimeOut NY Read More

“This new production—epic really is the only word that does it justice—is intelligent, endlessly surprising, and above all spectacularly entertaining. It inspires hyperbolic pronouncements like "the most important event of the theater season" or "the essential must-see event of the year..." --Martin Denton, Read more.
“This was the most challenging, exciting and wonderful theater event of the year.” -- Paper Magazine

“A love story about the cosmic battle between originality and cliché? A dialectic about a flower's quest to become human? A five-hour epic about the rights and rites of marriage (gay, straight, both, and none of the above)? Bursting with costumes, sets and a cast of 40+, Taylor Mac's “Lily” was a visionary ode to creativity itself.”  -- NY Metro Mix

The Story
THE LILY’S REVENGE tells the tale of a flower who goes on a quest to become a man (in order to wed its beloved bride) and finds itself at the center of an eternal feud between the god of presence and the god of nostalgia.
The Inspiration
LILY was inspired by anti-gay marriage agendas, which use tradition and nostalgia as an argument for oppression (“marriage has always been between a man and a woman”).  It was also inspired by the ever-growing homogenization of our cities (“things aren’t the way they used to be”) and, perhaps most of all, the millions of flowers, suffocated in plastic, that were thrown on the White House lawn, Buckingham Palace, and The Vatican in honor of Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Princess Diana’s funerals.    

The Collaborators

As a theater artist I think of myself as a community organizer.  LILY continues my approach to theatre as community action. In it the first four acts are executed by four different directors/ensembles with the final act being a massive collaboration between the four ensembles.  

Squishing Genres
LILY is part Noh play (composed of five acts based on the Noh themes of Deity, Ghost-Warrior, Love, Living-Person, and Demon, for each act), part verse play, part vaudevillian theatric, part instillation, part film, and part dance.  It lives in the theater and becomes a site-specific extravaganza.  It is a multidisciplinary pastiche where a community of artists is brought together to enable community building of a scale rarely seen in the theater.  It gives proof to the various communities (the audience and artists) of an active and present kinship:  people capable of dispatching their compartmentalized norms. 
The Gist
LILY dismantles the established societal rules, traditions, myths, and tropes, which are used to keep us docile and imprisoned in the past.  Then, while celebrating the pulled apart pieces, rearranges and glues them into the foundation of a new myth whose purpose is to inspire humanity in the here and now. 

Premiere Production Collaborators
“Lily” is part of the HERE Arts Center resident artists program (HARP) and could not have manifested if it weren’t for their support, encouragement, and vision.  It premiered in the fall of 2009 at the HERE Arts Center in New York and was a co-production between Taylor Mac and The HERE Arts Center.
Book, Lyrics, and Conceived by Taylor Mac
Dramaturgy by Nina Mankin
Directed by Paul Zimet, Rachel Chavkin, Faye Driscoll, Aaron Rhyne, David Drake, and Kristin Marting.
Composed by Rachelle Garniez
Production Stage Manager: Julia Funk
Musical Direction and Arrangements by Matt Ray
Costumes by Machine
Makeup by Derrick Little
Sets by Nick Vaughn
Lights by Seth Reiser
Puppets by Emily Decola
Part One Choreography by Julie Atlas Muz
Photos by Karl Giant
Starring:  Amelia Zirin-Brown (Lady Rizo), Barb Lanciers, Bianca Leigh, Daphne Gaines, Darlinda Just Darlinda, Ellen Madow, Frank Paiva, Glenn Marla, Heather Christian, Ikuko Ikari James Tigger Ferguso,  Jonathan Bastinan,  Kim Rosen, Kristine Lee, Machine, Matt Ray, Matthew Crosland, Mieke Duffly, Muriel Mugel, Nikki Zialcita, Oona Osato, Phillip Taratula, Rae C. Wright, Saeed Siamac, Salty Brine, Taylor Mac, The World Famous Bob, Tina Shepard, Vanessa Anspaugh. 

Who Helped
THE LILY’S REVENGE was developed at HERE Arts Center through the HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP); 
with the assistance of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program; and at New Dramatists as part of the Working Sessions Program and with support from the Creativity Fund. THE LILY’S REVENGE is a project of Creative Capital, and was made possible in part by The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation; the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, supported by Jerome Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; Ars Nova; the New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artists Program; The JB Harter Charitable Trust; and The Visionary Trust.