Taking new non-fiction stories off the page and into the third dimension, Pop-Up Magazine is an unusual performance template aiming to keep the audience at the edge of their seats. Across a wide range of topics—pop culture, crime, science, food, politics, music—narrators will speak, making use of visuals (be it animation or film or photography) all the while an on-stage band performs the story’s “soundtrack.”
“It’s not a literary event or a film event or an art event or live theater or a live music show. It takes a bit of all of those things and stirs them up into a fun, fast-moving night that isn’t really like anything else. It’s a live magazine!” editor-in-chief Douglas McGray tells CH. “Everyone works hard on their stories. And yes, there’s rehearsal involved, to sync up the narration, the photography or illustration or film on screen, and the live music soundtracks. But the whole cast only comes together when we perform live.” Of very special note: nothing is filmed or recorded—so it makes for one very special night that pushes you to be present and value the moment.
On their upcoming tour, Pop-Up Magazine will feature “contributors” like comedian Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), Lenny Letter editor-at-large Doreen St Félix, photographer Katy Grannan and more. Tickets for the SF show have sold out, but there are still some remaining for LA, Oakland and Brooklyn. Those who can’t make the show can check out Pop-Up Magazine’s weekend read, The California Sunday Edition.
Past Pop-Up Magazine contributors Stacey Baker and Alec Soth rehearse on-stage with the Magik*Magik Orchestra, image courtesy of Sam Wolson; theater image courtesy of Dave Cerf