‘Pop-Up Magazine’ Trades Stage for Screen and We’re All Invited

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Scenes from Pop-Up Magazine's 'Spring Issue: At Home.' (Courtesy Pop-Up Magazine)

Traditionally, a Pop-Up Magazine show is a resolutely ephemeral experience. Each issue of the live magazine repeats (via tour stops at venues across the country), but does not replicate. No recordings are made—each audience sees a unique, entirely in-the-moment night of storytelling, music, video and sound pieces.

But tours, live events, packed venues—these are things of the past and (hopefully) the eventual future. So the Pop-Up Magazine team has taken these limitations in stride, transforming their live show into their first-ever online show, Spring Issue: At Home.

Premiering on YouTube Wednesday, May 27 at 6pm PDT, the show features recordings of storytellers and musicians performing from their homes, with art, animation and video embellishments adding to the viewing experience.

Described as “a creative new kind of split-screen experience” and “a cross between a live performance, a video and a graphic novel,” Spring Issue: At Home was shaped by the current pandemic in form and content. One story is about a medical student graduating early to become a doctor; another segment provides one-minute interpretive dances about social distancing, performed by luminaries of both the actual stage and the digital one (Instagram).


Though there’s drawbacks in eliminating the magic of the live performance and the energy of a rapt audience, going online does have its perks, like introducing Pop-Up Magazine’s brand of thoughtful, entertaining storytelling to an even wider audience. Wednesday’s event has no capacity and the tickets have no price tag. Similar to the live shows, viewers can connect with performers after the event via Google Meet.

See the full list of performers (which includes comedians, dancers and choreographers, a plant therapist and a documentary filmmaker) and RSVP here.