Running time: 50 minutes

Written, composed, and performed by RInde Eckert
Assisted by David Schweizer

Grammy-winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist, 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 since the early 1980s. My Fools: A Life in Song combines song, dramatic monologues, lecture, and video from his archive. Beginning with a montage of visually striking moments from his shows across the decades, My Fools 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.

The multi-talented Rinde Eckert is an acclaimed performer, director, writer, composer, librettist, and musician whose virtuosic command of gesture, language, and song takes this total theatre artist beyond the traditional boundaries of what a ‘play,’ a ‘dance piece,’ an ‘opera,’ or a ‘musical’ might be. Eckert creates solo work, chamber pieces, and through-composed operas with larger casts in collaborations with choreographers, composers, directors, and new music ensembles. His Opera/New Music Theatre productions have toured throughout the U.S. and to major European and Asian festivals. Current theatre and music projects in which he performs include My Lai with the Kronos Quartet; The Aging Magician with Paola Prestini and Beth Morrison Productions; and Five Beasts with composer/performer Ned Rothenberg and beat box artist Adam Matta. Among his many awards, Rinde Eckert was the 2007 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

This performance of Rinde Eckert’s My Fools: A Life in Song is made possible through a generous performing artist award from the Doris Duke Foundation.

Photo by Eva Mueller

Rinde Eckert is a writer, composer, librettist, musician, performer and director.

His Opera / New Music Theatre productions have toured throughout America and to major theater festivals in Europe and Asia. With a virtuosic command of gesture, language and song, this 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 describes many of his characters as "little men with big ideas whose consequences of their hubris are often disastrous." 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 began composing and performing his own music/theater works in 1992 with The Gardening of Thomas D, an homage to Dante which subsequently toured the United States and France. Staged works for solo performer include Becoming…Unusual: The Education of an Eclectic; three one-act plays: An Idiot Divine, Romeo Sierra Tango and Quit This House; and works for radio including Shoot the Moving Things and Four Songs Lost in a Wall.

Writing credits for the theatre include Highway Ulysses, Horizon, Orpheus X, And God Created Great Whales, which has been produced three times with the original cast and director, for a total of 227 performances. And God Created Great Whales, Horizon and Orpheus X have run off-Broadway, garnering Drama Desk Nominations and the Lucille Lortel Award.

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