A work-in-progress, solo concert of song,
dramatic monologues, lecture and video from RINDE ECKERT’s anthology
of theatrical loners.
Since the early 1980s, Rinde Eckert has been
writing, composing, performing and directing evocative and haunting
performance pieces and plays that have pushed at the edges of
recognized theatrical form. With a virtuosic command of gesture
and language, he moves beyond the boundaries of what a 'play,' a
'dance piece,’ an 'opera' or a 'musical' might be. In the service of
grappling with complex issues, his work is a series of variations on a
smart, slightly cock-eyed Everyman who begins his journey with a pure
sense of mission and descends into the maelstrom.
Songwriter, composer, librettist, musician, performer,
director and total theatre artist
Rinde Eckert's art is formally inventive, asks difficult
questions, and is emphatically theatrical. Drawing on and combining to
extraordinary ends a vast array of theatrical, literary, historical,
philosophical, and musical influences, Eckert’s complex works consistently defy
easy explanation and categorization. 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.
“Little men with big ideas whose consequences of
their hubris are often disastrous" people Rinde’s work. His
characters include a man caught between the
American dream of success and consumerism and the alienating psychoses
of contemporary urban living; a composer trying to write an opera
while losing his memory; a man who commits a slow suicide while
sailing solo around the world; a Mafia accountant who has a change of
heart; a musician obsessed with the unknown woman his taxi mows down
one rainy night.
John Rockwell, writing in the New York Times,
referred to the persona that emerge from Mr. Eckert’s texts as that of
“an American loner-eccentric, with touches of Bertolt Brecht, Samuel
Beckett, and Tom Waits.”
Dubbed the originator of the “one-person
opera”, Rinde Eckert’s work has been commissioned, produced and
performed throughout the United States, including four off-Broadway
runs, and at major festivals in Europe and Asia.