William & Mary

Albert Award Winner, Obie Award Winner, Grammy Nominee Rinde Eckert to Perform at W&M in February and March


Rinde EckertEckert’s work is a unique combination of vocals, theater, dance, and video.  Eckert will give two performances and work with students in the college’s Performance Art Ensemble and music and theater classes. 


Thursday, Feb. 24, 4:30pm. 

Ewell Recital Hall, Music Dept., College of William and Mary


“Becoming...Unusual: The Education of an Ecclectic"


This one-hour event is a combination of song, dramatic monologues, lecture, and video from Rinde's archive. It begins with a montage of visually striking moments from shows across the decades. Then Rinde goes forward from the beginning and marches himself through his life to the present. This event will conclude with a talk-back session with Rinde, a chance to learn more about his work and performance art in general.  Free and open to the public. 

Wednesday, March 30, 8:00pm.

Commonwealth Auditorium, Sadler Center, College of William and Mary

“An evening with Rinde Eckert: ‘An Idiot Divine’”

“An Idiot Divine” is an evening-length solo performance comprising two one-act multimedia plays, “Dry Land Divine” and “Idiot Variations.”  The work reflects Eckert’s broader goals of combining the arts in unique ways.  He states:

"I have been trying to build a theatrical logic that is fiercely interdisciplinary - a theatre that accepts various modalities of meaning and feeling without subordinating one to the other. My work occurs on stage with lights and sound, and usually music, and is deeply concerned with language.  There is such a thing as soul and good theatre elevates it."

Free and open to the public.

*For more information, contact: Greg Bowers, Assistant Professor of Music/Director, Hy-Per Arts Ensemble, College of William and Mary.  gjbowers@wm.edu, or 757-221-7839.


Rinde Eckert, the 2009 recipient of the Albert Award in the Arts for his contributions to Theatre and finalist for th 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, is a writer, composer, performer and director. His Opera/New Music Theatre productions have toured throughout America, and to major theatre festivals in Europe and Asia.

Eckert's career began as a writer/performer in the 1980's writing librettos for Paul Dresher (Pioneer, Power Failure, Slow Fire, Ravenshead). He subsequently began composing dance scores for choreographers Sarah Shelton Mann and Margaret Jenkins, including the evening-length Woman, Window, Square for The Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. He began composing and performing his own music/theater pieces with The Gardening of Thomas D, a 1992 homage to Dante which was performed on tour in the United States and France. Eckert's staged works for solo performer include An Idiot Divine, Romeo Sierra Tango and Quit This House. Shoot the Moving Things and Four Songs Lost in a Wall were written for radio. Recent writing credits include Horizon (2007-2008 Drama Desk Nominations for Best Play and Best Director, Lucille Lortel Award: "Unique Theatrical Experience"); Orpheus X (Pulitzer Prize nomination); Highway Ulysses and Four Songs Lost in a Wall (The American Academy of Arts and Letters 2005 Marc Blitzstein Award); And God Created Great Whales (OBIE Award: Best Performance, Drama Desk Nomination: "Unique Theatrical Experience"); and the two, one-act plays An Idiot Divine, performed at Zankel Hall in New York City. Three of his plays-And God Created Great Whales, Horizon and Orpheus X, have had successful off-Broadway runs.

His work for the theater has been produced by Theatre for a New Audience, the New York Theatre Workshop, The foundry Theatre and Culture Project in New York, American Repertory Theatre, Center Stage in Baltimore, Dobama Theatre Company and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Tony Taccone, Robert Woodruff, David Schweizer, Richard ET White and Ellen McLaughlin have directed his plays. Rinde Eckert has directed his own and others' plays and operas for The Asia Society, Juggernaut Theatre, Opera Piccola and the Paul Dresher Ensemble.

Writing and directing projects involving new music productions include The Schick Machine with virtuoso percussionist Steven Schick in a solo-theater work composed/produced by Paul Dresher, Imaginary City with So Percussion, Sound Stage for the ensemble Zeitgeist, and Steven Mackey's oratorio Dream House, Conducted by Gil Rose with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. The recording received three 2010 Grammy Nominations: Best Classical Album, Best Orchestral Performance and Best Engineered Album, Classical. Eckert wrote the text and performs in Slide with composer/guitarist Mackey and eighth blackbird, which is touring to major university campuses. Mackey and Eckert are members of BIG FARM, the 4-person 'prog-rock' band. Rinde Eckert's uniquely eclectic music is available on the Intuition label in Germany and through Songline/Tonefield Productions. The critically acclaimed Sandhills Reunion (music by Jerry Granelli, text by Eckert) was released in 2005.

Following his success teaching a course in creativity at Princeton University in 2007, he began a 3-year residency in Spring 2009. He was the 2008 Granada Artist-in-Residence at the University of California at Davis Department of Theater and Dance, where he wrote and directed Fate and Spinoza, and was in partnership with the University of Iowa to create, direct and perform in Eye Piece, a play exploring the loss of vision and involving 30 theater students. Gurs Zyklus, a new music/performance/multi-media installation and collaboration with sound sculptor Trimpin debuts at Stanford University in May 2011.

Rinde Eckert lives in New York with his wife, Ellen mcLaughlin, the playwright and actress.