Taylor Mac’s mission is nothing short of extraordinary: to chart a complete social history of a nation through the music that scored its rebellions and revolutions, triumphs and tragedies.
Across four six-hour epics of staggering scale, Mac enlists the aid of over one hundred local and international performers—from acrobats and burlesque artists to choirs and marching bands—to join this fearless quest.
Hailed as a Ring Cycle for the 21st century, this once-in-a-lifetime experience has never been seen outside the US and is co-commissioned by and exclusive to Melbourne Festival. Part celebration and part exorcism, it’s a no-holds-barred extravaganza of music, history, performance and art that will take its place as one of the most spectacular stage events Melbourne has ever witnessed.
Chapter II: 1836—1896
Fri 13 October
Walt Whitman and Stephen Foster go head-to-head for the title of Father of the American Song, culminating in the queerest Civil War reenactment in history. Plus a production of The Mikado set on Mars.
Taylor Mac is the darling of New York's cabaret scene, hailed as a its bedazzled shaman, radical angel and searing social critic. Mac’s stellar ascent has been accompanied by a constant stream of accolades, including Guggenheim and Doris Duke awards, Obie and New York Drama Critics Circle special citations and most recently the Kennedy Prize for Drama, whose previous winners include Hamilton.