VIDEO: Taylor Mac Performs 'Amazing Grace' in the Streets of San Francisco; Tickets for Curran Run on Sale Next Week!
The Curran and Stanford Live at Stanford University, in association with Magic Theatre and Pomegranate Arts, announced today tickets for Taylor Mac's groundbreaking performance art concert A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC, will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, July 4th at 10:00am PT. Tickets can be purchased at SFCURRAN.com/shows/taylor-mac or by calling 415-358-1220.
The concert has been reworked into four six-hour Chapters, with performances at the Curran (445 Geary Street) on Friday, September 15, at 5pm; Sunday, September 17, at 2pm; Friday, September 22, at 5pm; and Sunday, September 24 at 2pm.
Ahead of the highly anticipated production, the Curran has released a music video of Taylor Mac performing "Amazing Grace" from A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC. The video was filmed on the streets of San Francisco and at the newly renovated Curran. The 'cast' in the video is entirely made up of Bay Area residents who responded to an open casting call, showing up in their favorite decade-inspired wear. It gives viewers an opportunity to hear a song from the concert, as well as experiencing a look at Taylor Mac's world. Check it out below!
A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC will be performed in its entirety for the first time since the historic 24-hour marathon performance at Brooklyn's St. Ann's Warehouse last fall. Over four performances, audience members can experience Mac's pièce de résistance.
A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC is Mac's multi-year effort to chart a subjective history of the United States through 246 songs that were popular throughout the country, and in its disparate communities, from 1776 to the present day. In performing the work, Mac is joined by an orchestra-led by Music Director Matt Ray, who created new arrangements of all 246 songs-plus an ensemble of "Dandy Minions" and a variety of local special guests, including members of the audience cast as colonial needleworkers, World War I soldiers and Yum Yum from The Mikado. Costume designer Machine Dazzle, a longtime Mac collaborator, has handmade an outrageously imaginative, world-unto-itself costume specific to each decade.
A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC recently won the 2017 Edward M. Kennedy Award for Drama inspired by American History and was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama, in addition to being included on an unprecedented three New York Times "Best of..." lists in 2016: Performance, Theater and Classical Music.
The performances at the Curran are:
Friday, September 15 at 5pm (Chapter I: 1776-1836): The American Revolution from the perspective of the yankee doodle dandy, the early woman's lib movement, an epic battle between drinking songs and early temperance songs, a dream sequence where the audience is blindfolded and the heteronormative narrative as colonization.
Sunday, September 17 at 2pm (Chapter II: 1836-1896): Walt Whitman and Stephen Foster go head to head for the title of Father of the American Song, culminating in the queerest Civil War Reenactment in history. Oh, and: a production of The Mikado set on Mars.
Friday, September 22 at 5pm (Chapter III: 1896-1956): A Jewish tenement, a WWI trench, a speakeasy, a depression, a zoot suit riot all make the white people flee the cities.
Sunday, September 24 at 2pm (Chapter IV: 1956-the present): Bayard Rustin's March on Washington leads to a queer riot, sexual deviance as revolution, radical lesbians, and a community building itself while under siege.
A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC is Created, Written, Performed and Co-Directed by Taylor Mac, with Co-Direction by Niegel Smith, Music Direction/Arrangements by Matt Ray, Costume Design by Machine Dazzle, Dramaturgy by Jocelyn Clarke, Scenic Design by Mimi Lien, Lighting Design by John Torres. A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC is produced by Pomegranate Arts and Mac's company Nature's Darlings.
This engagement marks a special partnership between the Curran and Stanford Live. Prior to the Curran presentation, Stanford will host Mac and other members of the creative team in a creative residency on campus. As part of the University's Arts Intensive Program, students will help prepare various elements of the production and then will have the opportunity to participate in both the San Francisco and Stanford performances, either on stage as "Dandy Minions" or as part of the backstage crew.
A special three-hour abridged version of A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC will be presented at Stanford University's Bing Concert Hall (327 Lasuen Street, Stanford, CA 94305) on Wednesday, September 27, at 7:30pm.
Taylor Mac's A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC will be the fourth event at the Curran in 2017, opening first with the Tony Award-winning musical FUN HOME in January, which was followed by the critically acclaimed plays ECLIPSED in March and THE ENCOUNTER in April.
A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC is commissioned in part by Carole Shorenstein Hays, the Curran SF; Stanford Live at Stanford University; ASU Gammage at Arizona State University; Belfast International Arts Festival and 14 - 18 NOW WW1 Centenary Art; Carolina Performing Arts, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA; Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Melbourne Festival; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; International Festival of Arts & Ideas (New Haven); New York Live Arts; OZ Arts Nashville; University Musical Society of the University of Michigan. This work was developed with the support of the Park Avenue Armory residency program, MASS MoCa (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), New York Stage and Film & Vassar's Powerhouse Theater, SPACE at Ryder Farm, and the 2015 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at the Sundance Resort with continuing post-lab dramaturgical support through its initiative with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC was made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Taylor Mac (who uses "judy," lowercase sic, not as a name but as a gender pronoun) is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer. "A critical darling of the New York scene" (New York Magazine), judy's work has been performed at New York City's Lincoln Center, The Public Theatre and Playwrights Horizons, London's Hackney Empire, Los Angeles's Royce Hall, Minneapolis's Guthrie Theater, Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, the Sydney Opera House, Boston's American Repertory Theatre, Stockholm's Sodra Theatern, the Spoleto Festival, San Francisco's Curran theater and MOMA, and literally hundreds of other theaters, museums, music halls, opera houses, cabarets, and festivals around the globe. Judy is the author of seventeen full-length plays and performance pieces including A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC (2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama, Kennedy Prize in Drama), Hir (placed on the top ten theater of 2015 lists of The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Time Out NY; published by North Western University Press and in American Theater Magazine), The Lily's Revenge (Obie Award), The Walk Across America for Mother Earth (named One of the Best Plays of 2011 by The New York Times), The Young Ladies Of (Chicago's Jeff Award nomination for best solo), Red Tide Blooming (Ethyl Eichelberger Award), and The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac (Edinburgh Festival's Herald Angel Award). Recent acting roles include Shen Teh/Shui Ta in The Foundry Theater's production of Good Person of Szechwan at La Mama and The Public Theater (for which judy received Lucille Lortel and Drama League Award nominations), Puck/Egeus in the Classic Stage Company's A Midsummer's Night Dream, the title role in various productions of judy's play, The Lily's Revenge, and opposite Mandy Patinkin in the two-man vaudeville, The Last Two People On Earth, directed by Susan Stroman. Mac is currently creating a Dionysia Festival of four original plays (to be premiered separately and eventually performed in repertory), which deal in some way with our cultural polarization and that include: an all-ages play called, The Fre (commissioned by the Children's Theater Company in Minneapolis, premiere date TBD); a kitchen-sink tragedy named, Hir (which received its world premiere at the Magic Theater in Feb 2014); a dance-theater play, The Bourgeois Oligarch, and a music theatre debate regarding small and large government, set inside an Ezra Pound poem, in the subconscious of Clarence Thomas, during a Supreme Court Hearing. Mac is the recipient of multiple awards including the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim Award, the Herb Alpert Award in Theater, the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award and an Obie. An alumnus of New Dramatists judy is currently a New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspect and the Resident playwright at the HERE Arts Center.
Built in 1922, the Curran has housed some of the most important productions in history and has maintained a reputation over the course of its life as one of the greatest venues in North America. Now, nearly 100 years after it welcomed its first Bay Area audiences, the Curran is newly restored and renovated. Under the curation of eight-time Tony Award winner Carole Shorenstein Hays, the Curran has reopened its 1,600-seat venue as a home for the most exciting stage works being conceived and created anywhere in the world.
Stanford Live presents a wide range of the finest performances from around the world fostering a vibrant learning community and providing distinctive experiences through the performing arts. With its home at Bing Concert Hall, Stanford Live is simultaneously a public square, a sanctuary, and a lab, drawing on the breadth and depth of Stanford University to connect performance to the significant issues, ideas, and discoveries of our time. Stanford Live includes a wealth of collaborators and partners, including Stanford academic departments and individual faculty members, Stanford students, off-campus arts institutions, and community organizations. Crucially, Stanford Live supports the university's focus on placing the arts at the heart of a Stanford education.
Founded by Linda Brumbach in 1998, Pomegranate Arts is an independent Production Company based in New York City dedicated to the development of international performing arts projects. As a creative producing team, Pomegranate Arts works in close collaboration with contemporary artists and arts institutions to bring bold and ambitious artistic ideas to fruition. With a hands-on approach, Pomegranate creates unique structures and partnerships in all performance mediums. Whether creating a new work with established artists at the peak of their career or introducing the vision of a younger artist, Pomegranate specializes in producing provocative performance events of the highest quality. Together with Taylor Mac/Nature's Darlings, Pomegranate Arts produced and developed A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC.
Now celebrating its 50th year, Magic Theatre is dedicated to the cultivation of bold new plays, playwrights, and audiences - and to producing explosive, entertaining, and ideologically robust plays that ask substantive questions about, and reflect the rich diversity of, the world in which we live. Magic believes that demonstrating faith in a writer's vision by providing a safe yet rigorous artistic home, where a full body of work can be imagined, supported, and produced, allows writers to thrive. 22 of the last 25 new plays produced at Magic have enjoyed extended life beyond its stage, throughout the U.S. and abroad including Mac's The Lily's Revenge and the World Premiere of Mac's HIR.