Pop-up Magazine weaves diverse 'Love Stories' into a live evening of extravagant storytelling

Pop-Up Magazine's live show 'Love Stories' comes to the Buckhead Theatre on 11/15 and focuses on love stories - from blind dates to misconnections to lifelong companionships. (Courtesy of Pop-up Magazine)

 Imagine a comedy show, play, concert, podcast and film all wrapped into one night. That’s how the creators of Pop-Up Magazine describe their live show. This storytelling experience comes to the Buckhead Theatre on Nov. 15, and focuses on love stories – from blind dates, to misconnections, to lifelong companionships. Emerging storytellers and journalists present fascinating narratives accompanied by multimedia effects. Haley Howle, Pop-Up Magazine’s senior producer, joined “City Lights” producer Summer Evans to talk more about this year’s show.

Interview highlights:

What you might expect from Pop-Up’s “live magazine” experience:

“It’s like reading your favorite print magazine but seeing it performed live on stage. All of our stories are brand new and true, so when you’re in the audience, you’re looking at the stage, and you’re seeing somebody telling a story on one side of the stage… In the middle of the stage, there’s a big projection screen where we show all kinds of beautiful commissioned artwork. It could be animation, illustration, photography, documentary film. Then on the other side of the stage, there is a live band, the incredible Magik*Magik Orchestra, who we work with, and they score all of the stories,” Howle explained. “So that is what a ‘live magazine’ means. You’re listening to a story, you’re seeing artwork commissioned for that story, and you’re listening to music that was composed just for that story.

Picking out the perfect content to fascinate a live audience:

“We are talking to people whose work we admire. We’re talking to people in all different moments of their career, and ultimately what we’re looking for are just surprising and compelling stories, and we do a lot of work to make sure that we’ve got a good mix of the kinds of stories, in terms of the tone of the stories. We want funny and thoughtful, and stories that’ll make you cry, and stories that’ll make you laugh, and stories you’ll walk away [from] having learned something new. I mean, we’re also looking for all different kinds of mediums, so we work with magazine writers. We work with radio producers, documentary filmmakers, photographers, musicians, comedians, actors, anybody who’s got a story to tell,” said Howle.

“We’ve wanted to do a love show for a really long time,” Howle said. “We’ve got… all kinds of love stories – about first love, and stories about blind dates, stories about heartbreak, and misconnections, and lifelong companionship and chosen family. One of the stories I’m most excited about is by a wonderful poet and storyteller, Sarah Kay, who we’ve worked with before in our last theme show, which was escape-themed. Sarah’s going to be telling a very cinematic love story. It circles around a secret post-World War II relationship between her great uncle and one of the most famous actresses in Japan.”

Finding the in-the-moment essence of storytelling, with a show that’s never recorded:

“I think there’s something kind of alchemical and intangible that happens when we’re doing this ephemeral show that only exists for one night and isn’t being recorded,” said Howle.  “We ask audience members to put your phones down, and just be here and be present with us, and everyone does, and you can feel it in the theater. It’s, like I said, this kind of intangible thing where we’re all gathered in one theater for the night. We’re all experiencing these moving, funny, heartbreaking stories, and all the twists and turns that come along with storytelling, and after it’s all over, everyone goes into the lobby and has a drink and talks about it… There’s something about it that feels magical.”

Pop-Up Magazine’s live show “Love Stories” will be on stage at Buckhead Theatre on Nov. 15. Tickets and more information are available at https://www.popupmagazine.com/lovestories/