Hir, a dark comedy by multi-award winning playwright Taylor Mac, debuted only a year ago in New York to much acclaim. This January, Capital T Theatre is bringing the play to Austin for the first time.
The play is, in broad terms, an installment in the long pantheon of American family dramas; the four person cast includes a father, a mother, and their two children, and much of the drama revolves around their dysfunctional relationships.
But Hir is definitely a modern take on that long-lived dramatic genre. It's more of a black comedy than a straight drama, and its characters include a father who's barely able to communicate (in a very literal sense, due to a recent stroke) and who dresses like a clown, a mother who is struggling to assert her dominance after years of oppression, a son who's returning from war while also recovering from drug addiction and a daughter who is transitioning from female to male.
"It doesn't sound very funny when you say all those things," admits producer Mark Pickell, "But the play is a really funny show."
"[It's] funny and kind of introspective as well about who we are as Americans," Pickell says. "Where does the white male fit into this new society and why are they struggling so much to identify with all these new changes with our demographics and gender politics and things like that?"