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Thank you to everyone who participated in and helped with the production of The Last Days of the Old Wild Boy. A special thank you to Kari Weil, director and faculty member of the College of Letters, and John Kirn, chair and professor of Neuroscience and Behavior, who collaborated with Rinde during the research phase of this project. You can hear more from them and Rinde is this video of The Last Days of the Old Wild Boy.

This documentary was created by the Wesleyan students who worked with Rinde Eckert on his piece The Last Days of the Old Wild Boy. 

Rinde Eckert: Artist at Play

Directed by Amanda Hayley Sonnenschein & Solomon Billinkoff

Editing and Cinematography by Amanda Hayley Sonnenschein

Sound by Kallan Benjamin

Specials Thanks to Rinde Eckert and the cast of The Last Days of the Old Wild Boy: Sivan Battat, Solomon Billinkoff, Mikhail Firer, Audrey Kiely, Matthew Krakaur, Jiovani Robles, Alma Sanchez-Eppler, Christine Treuhold.

Jiyoun Chang, the lighting designer for Rinde Eckert’s show “The Last Days of the Old Wild Boy,” shared with us a few photos that influenced her design and wrote the following about how these pieces were incorporated into her process.

“This is one of the sculpture pieces I saw at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. They commissioned artists to use “temporary” material to make their art look like ashes – clay without further processing, dirt and such. This piece reminded me of Rinde’s project – there is a wolf and a man in charcoal, which represents “nature” and they are in an office space without natural light, which is “modern life.” This inspired me to suggested we use fluorescent lights for the show, but Rinde and Marcela felt the look of it didn’t belong to the world being created on stage. I then created a “worklight” kind of environment by using white light to open up the stage fully. It served the show in a similar way and provided flexibility. It could be used in any space from open white space to the rehearsal room, and it allows for any reality as of now on stage, where actors can be themselves without being characters.

The second and third images where taken near St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. I don’t think I have shared these pictures with Rinde, but these are images I kept going back to. One of the building near the Warehouse has animal designs made with a kind of felt material on the cement wall. It almost looks like shadows of the animals especially at night under the street lamp or moon light. I felt something about this was kind of a theatrical moments of the project.”

Dog Masks

Developing the design for the Dog masks for the “So Called Dogs” section was a very organic process.  Rinde came to me with the problem of creating commedia dell’arte style masks for the scene where Calub encounters beggars on the outskirts of the city.  We started just my making blank half mask for the cast, then while watching the rehearsal process developed the idea of a pack of dogs.  With some actor input and using an additive process with brown butcher paper and glue, the dog masks came to life.

 

 

 

 

Performance Dates:
Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 8pm
Friday, November 16, 2012 at 8pm
Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 2pm & 8pm

CFA Theater

Tickets available at Wesleyan University Box Office
(860) 685 – 3355
www.wesleyan.edu/boxoffice

A Wesleyan student recently blogged about The Last Days of the Old Wild Boy, even including some photos from a rehearsal. Check out the blogpost here!

Stay tuned for sneak peek video footage of the show and an interview with Rinde.

It’s all coming together! Get your tickets now!

Thursday, November 15 – Saturday, November 17 at 8pm

Rinde Eckert and Ned Rothenberg will be performing Five Beasts as part of A Portrait of the Man as an Animal, a FREE night of talks and performances at Roulette this Sunday, October 21, 2012.

Five Beasts is a set of five portraits of the human animal as it manifests itself in the classic behaviors of predator, prey, ruminant, or scavenger, wolf, mouse, ox, ferret, vulture, dog, or bear, the animal as totem, the animal as guide, the animal as witness. These animals put our pretensions in relief, or challenge our grand anthropocentrism. They inform us, teach, if we listen. We are absurd and amazed and sometimes beautiful in our utter ignorance.

FREE to the public. Reservation required. Please email roulette@roulette.org with the subject line “RSVP – Portrait of Man as an Animal”

For information on how to get to Roulette, click here.

Here are the base costume ideas I have been playing with.  A long robe, slate gray in color with a removable bunraku hood.  The costumes would be distressed and treated to emulate the look of a well-used chalkboard.

 

 

Costume Ideas

There are several costume ideas I have been working on since my meeting with Rinde.  We had talked about the actors wearing costumes that unified them and referenced Ningyōtsukai (Bunraku Puppeteers) and their style of dress.  I also like the unified look of the Butoh performers.  One of the many style of Ningyōtsukai hoods made from a square piece of fabric creates the effect of wolf ears!

Along with this element of costume I imagined the actors altering their ‘blank’ costumes with the use of chalk in primal and gestural ways like Native American warpaint.  As the play progresses, the costumes would move from stark and clean to this chalk covered second skin.  then the costumes would be washed between each performance.  I am still experimenting on what this might look like.

Another element I have been working in is creating character through costume pieces and accessories made out of paper.  The heavy builders paper comes readily in Brown, Pink, and Green.  I have been experimenting with making simple costume pieces out of paper and made a pretty nice fedora hat.  I also have been looking at how fashion has used paper as costume and especially like the Hugo Boss Paper suit from the 1960′s

Chalk could also be used on the paper costume pieces to add details, but these would not very very easy to clean off for each performance.

Finally I have a strong image of tall two-dimensional paper puppets of business suits or suited “shareholders” casting long shadows around the campfire.  The ‘suits’ would be tall and abstracted, serving as the image of both suited shareholders but also the tall skyscrapers of the world Calub Prosper now lives in.  Since the puppets are flat they could easily blend into the play space when not in use and only make an appearance for particular moments.

That is what I have thus far.  I hope to do some drawings and make a mockup of the tall puppet for the meeting.  Let me know what you all think!

 

 

On Wednesday, September 12 at 4:15pm, Rinde Eckert will lead the colloquium for the music department at Wesleyan University. This event is free and open to both Wesleyan students and the general public. Come hear Rinde discuss talk about his relationship to music and his new theatrical work The Last Days of the Old Wild Boy, which will premiere at Wesleyan from November 15-17, 2012.

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