Taylor Mac will perform A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, which won the 2017 Edward M. Kennedy Award for Drama inspired by American History and was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama, in its entirety in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The Curran and Stanford Live, in association with Magic Theatre and Pomegranate Arts, will present the complete 24-hour work over four six-hour concerts from September 15–24 at the Curran in San Francisco—the very city that inspired Mac to undertake the ambitious project. The engagement will mark the first time Mac has performed the work in its entirety since its premiere, which culminated in a one-time-only, 24-hour marathon concert at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn in October 2016.
Mac will also perform an abridged version of the concert September 27 at Stanford University’s Bing Concert Hall. The Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA will present the complete work in four six-hour concerts from March 15–24, 2018 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Abridged concerts will be presented March 6, 2018, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and April 7, 2018, at ASU Gammage in Tempe, Arizona. Additional dates will be announced.
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 from 1776 to the present day. 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. The production also features costumes by Machine Dazzle.
“A 24-Decade History of Popular Music is a reenactment of how the individual(s) may lose the long game but communities and movements, if continually brought together, have the potential to thrive and bend toward justice,” said Mac in a statement. “I’m not a teacher. My job is to be a reminder. I’m reminding the audience of the things they’ve forgotten, dismissed or buried—or that others have buried for them. In this time of obstacle, of political cynicism, amnesia, polarization, oppression and upheaval, we are in desperate need of a physical, emotional, sensorial, and intellectual reminder that we can use the obstacles to strengthen our bonds and communal actions.”