Person of the Decade #5

January 9, 2015

Our fifth Person of the Decade is another of indie theater's true Renaissance Men: he's probably best known as a playwright, but he's also an expert actor and director, and is part of one of NYC's leading companies, Gideon Productions. Yes, I am talking about MAC ROGERS. Truly a deserving honoree! Please join me in congratulating him.

I first got to know Mac when he starred (brilliantly!) in the title role of James Comtois' The Adventures of Nervous-Boy. The following year, I became a lifelong fan of Mac's writing when I saw Universal Robots, which I then published in Plays and Playwrights 2008. About it, I wrote: "Rogers has used Karel Capek's famous play R.U.R as inspiration for Universal Robots, along with some of the events of Capek's life and that of his brother Josef; this is no simple adaptation, though, but rather a sort of mashup of the original play, the Capeks' biographies, and a good deal of mid-20th century history, all filtered through a very contemporary horror/sci-fi sensibility. The result is a drama that's astute, ideological in the best possible way, and enormously compelling and entertaining."

Mac has continued to hone this pioneering contemporary style, mashing up pop/pulp genres like horror and sci-fi with classic theater forms to create a school of theater that's wholly his own, investigating the moral quandaries we face today with insight and humanity in a way that's boldly resonant with the 21st century audience.

One of Mac's hit plays, Viral, makes it Los Angeles debut today. It runs through January 30 at Bootleg Theatre; details here.

Mac's plans for the upcoming year (plus some history about his work as well) are on his Indie Theater Hall of Fame page.

I love that Mac has been selected as one of our People of the Decade by his peers, for his is truly a pioneering voice in American drama of this century. This is undoubtedly just the first of many significant recognitions Mac weill receiving as his career progresses.

[Note: When NYTE launched the Hall of Fame last month, we asked all of the inductees to vote for those members who, in their view, had made the most significant and outstanding contributions to the NYC indie theater scene during the past ten years. We think that this is a particularly meaningful recognition because it is bestowed upon these individuals and companies by their peers. We're announcing the 10 honorees weekly, one each Friday from now until February 13th. Announced so far: John Clancy and Nancy Walsh, Flux Theatre Ensemble, Vampire Cowboys, and Kristin Marting.]





More about the playwright in this article:
Loco7's "Undefined Fraction" at La MaMa
I got to pay a visit to one of my all-time favorite indie theaters, La MaMa E.T.C., for a performance of Undefined Fraction, which is part of the company's 2015 Puppet Series. This blend of edgy puppetry, physical theater, and dance is an exemplar of the kind of meditative hybrid installation/happening/drama that has been a mainstay of this East Village institution for decades.
Trav S.D.'s Great Vaudeville History
A look back at Trav S.D.'s book on vaudeville, published 10 years ago this month.
United Solo 2014: Done; United Solo 2015: Starting Now!
ITN's United Solo 2014 play collection is now complete; and our first 2015 play--LOUISE IN CHARLESTOWN by Penny Jackson--is available as well.