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Musical Excerpts the multi-talented Rinde Eckert
August 5, 2016 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The multi-talented RINDE ECKERT is an acclaimed writer, composer, librettist, musician, performer and director. His virtuosic command of gesture, language and song takes the total theatre artist moves beyond the boundaries of what a ‘play,’ a ‘dance piece,’ an ‘opera’ or ‘musical’ might be, in the service of grappling with complex issues. Eckert creates solo work, chamber pieces, and through-composed operas with larger casts, and has long collaborated with other art makers including choreographers, composers, directors, and new music ensembles. His Opera / New Music Theatre productions toured throughout the U.S. and to major European and Asian festivals. Sometimes tragic and austere, sometimes broadly comedic, entirely grounded by presence, his work is alchemical: moving from rumination and distillation to hard-won illumination, or its lack. Rinde will perform his critically acclaimed work And God Created Great Whales which had three off-Broadway runs.
Drawing inspiration from Herman Melville’s classic Moby-Dick, Eckert develops a play that is about a piano-tuner and composer who hopes to finish and opera based on Melville’s masterpiece before his memory fails. The character, Nathan’s disintegrating consciousness is an analogue for the physical challenges Melville’s Ahab faces in his obsessive pursuit of Moby-Dick. To compensate for his failing memory, Nathan relies on a collection of color-coded tape recorders marked for specific purposes and also wears a tape recorder hung around his neck. Although the voice on the tapes is that of Nathan, recorded at a time when he was still lucid and aware of his condition in the first place, how long it’s been going on, or how much time passes during the action of the performance. Eckert’s refusal to provide answers to these questions invests the time, place and action of And God Created Great Whales with a sense of swirl and blur.
Current theater and music projects in which he also performs include My Lai with the Kronos Quartet; Aging Magician composed by Paola Prestini and direction by Julian Crouch; Five Beasts with composer/performer Ned Rothenberg and beat box artist Adam Matta; and his adaptation of Shakespeare’s Pericles directed by David Schweizer, premiered in April 2016 at Two River Theatre in New Jersey.
Rinde Eckert was the 2007 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. His awards include being named an inaugural Doris Duke Artist in 2012, the 2009 Alpert Award in the Arts for Theatre, a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2005 American Academy of Arts and Letters Marc Blitzstein Award. Rinde Eckert lives in New York.
Rinde Eckert will perform musical excerpts from his play And God Created Great Whales on Friday, August 5th at 8 p.m. at the Woods Hole Community Hall