Mac directs and performs the first two sections of the epic, covering the years 1776 to 1836 and totaling six hours of performance time, as part of the "Curran: Under Construction" series curated by Broadway producer Carole Shorenstein Hays. The Curran is currently undergoing a renovation that's expected to be completed in 2017. Audiences will enter through the Curran’s stage door alleyway and be seated onstage alongside the action.
Early drafts have been performed at New York Live Arts and Celebrate Brooklyn during the past year, but the Curran engagement is the first look at the first two completed parts of the cycle in sequence.
A 24-Decade History of Popular Music: 1776-1836 is being presented in two parts—Part I: 1776-1806 on Jan. 21-23, and Part II: 1806-1836 on Jan. 26-27. A six-hour marathon of both parts be presented at the final performance on Jan. 30.
Shorenstein Hays said in an earlier press statement, "Taylor Mac is a visionary talent and we are delighted to welcome him, for the first—but not last—time to the Curran. His epic work-in-progress promises to be a great climax to our Curran: Under Construction adventure."
The "durational performance art concert," which examines the history of the past 240 years in America, incorporates more than 30 different performance art concerts and includes co-commissioners from around the world. Mac plans to perform mini-marathons of three- and six-hour excerpts of the piece, both as developmental workshops around the U.S., culminating in a one-time-only 24-hour event in New York City in late 2016 at a location to be announced, and followed by a tour.
Tickets cost $50, with marathon tickets priced at $75, and can be purchased exclusively at Eventbrite.com.
A 24-Decade History of Popular Music is created, written, co-directed and performed by Taylor Mac, with co-direction by Niegel Smith, music direction by Matt Ray and costumes by Machine Dazzle. The work is co-produced by Pomegranate Arts and Nature’s Darlings.
Others who helped commission the project include Shorenstein Hays, 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; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; New Haven Festival of Arts & Ideas; 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 and the 2015 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at the Sundance Resort. 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.
Here is a clip about Mac and the show: