Taylor Mac's 'joy and pandemic' postponed as Covid cases rise

Taylor Mac’s “Joy and Pandemic”, a play during the 1918 influenza pandemic that was announced in March , was a ray of hope on the horizo...


Taylor Mac’s “Joy and Pandemic”, a play during the 1918 influenza pandemic that was announced in March, was a ray of hope on the horizon at the Magic Theater in San Francisco: a world premiere production, set to open in September for what would have been the theater’s first audience in 18 months.

But now, in another turn of life where art meets life, production has been postponed indefinitely due to the push for the Delta variant in Covid cases.

“Timing is everything,” Mac said in a statement. “With the rise in infections, now is not the time to wholeheartedly engage with the themes of this work. Our hope is that the time will come soon.

Mac is best known for “A history of 24 decades of popular music”, a 24-hour marathon performance that traces all of American history through song, refracted through a radical queer lens (and involving exuberant audience participation). “Joy and Pandemic,” directed by Loretta Greco, was in part inspired by some of Mac’s research for this show, and had been commissioned by the Magic, a 144-seat non-profit theater with which Mac has a long association, before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The play (in which Mac will not appear) is set in Philadelphia in September 1918, towards the end of the First World War, on the day of the Liberty Loan Parade, which has become an infamous super-broadcast event, and also takes place in 1951. It takes place at a children’s art school and deals in part with Christian science, which Mac was raised in.

In an email Wednesday, Mac called “Joy and Pandemic” a work “with great humor” and wrote that the realization that the Delta variant can infect even those who have been vaccinated “would change the way the public. is able to listen “.

But “‘Joy and Pandemic’ isn’t really about a pandemic (just over the course of a),” Mac said. “It’s more about how belief, hope, and faith collide with reality. So the progress of our pandemic and the way Americans politicized it only deepened the major theme of the play. “

The postponement came as some live theaters began an uncertain comeback in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tuesday, “Hamilton” reopened at the Orpheum Theater, where an audience of around 2,000 was required to present proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test. But on Wednesday, the Berkeley Repertory Theater announced it was pushing back its season opening, “Hivertime” by Charles Mee originally scheduled for October to November 12.

Sean San José, the Magic’s recently appointed artistic director, vowed that the Mac show would eventually continue.

“This is, as Taylor Mac reminded me, a time for ‘radical empathy’,” San José said in a statement. “This piece WILL premiere at Magic, but with the uncertainty surrounding the varieties of variety, we cannot fully embrace the resonance of the work. We need proper reflection time for this piece to be properly presented.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Taylor Mac's 'joy and pandemic' postponed as Covid cases rise
Taylor Mac's 'joy and pandemic' postponed as Covid cases rise
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