Under Construction Series: AGING MAGICIAN

A new music-theater work, AGING MAGICIAN uses a composite of sonic and visual elements to follow a man entering his final stages of life to the fantastical world of Coney Island. Composed by Paola Prestini with libretto by Rinde Eckert, direction by Julian Crouch, scenic design by Julian Crouch and Amy Rubin, instrument designer Mark Stewart, and projection designer, S. Katy Tucker, AGING MAGICIAN’s creative team combines music, theater, puppetry, instrument-making, and scenic design to create an enduring work for the stage. This work features vocalist Rinde Eckert with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and string quartet.

Paola Prestini is a composer and director and co-founder of VisionIntoArt, an interdisciplinary collective that has created over 70 multimedia productions worldwide. Her music has been performed by such ensembles as International Contemporary Ensemble, The BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony, and the Kronos Quartet in venues including Carnegie Hall, The Barbican Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and The Kennedy Center. Named by NPR as one of the Top 100 composers in the world under 40, Ms. Prestini has received commissions from Concert Artists Guild and Carnegie Hall, among other organizations. Current commissions include The New York Philharmonic, The Krannert Center, and upcoming works at BAM and MASS MoCA. She is currently working with Roomful of Teeth, Isabelle Leonard, Rinde Eckert, Julian Crouch, Maya Beiser, Cornelius Dufallo, The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Young People’s Chorus, Michael Counts, Helga Davis for a Bric Residency, and artists Erika Harrsch, Carmen Kordas, and Ali Hossaini. She is the Creative Director for Original Music Workshop, a Brooklyn-based venue slated to open in 2015.

Rinde Eckert is a writer, composer, director, performer, and singer known for the flexibility and inventiveness of his voice and his uniquely interdisciplinary productions. His works move beyond the boundaries of what a “play,” a “dance piece,” an “opera,” or “musical” might be, and include And God Created Great Whales (2000 OBIE award), Orpheus X (2007 Pulitzer Prize in Drama Finalist), Highway Ulysses, Four Songs Lost in a Wall, and Horizon (2008 Lucille Lortel Award). He is the recipient of a Mark Blitzstein Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2005), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2007), the Alpert Award in the Arts (2009), and a Grammy for Best Small Ensemble Performance (2012) for his vocals on Lonely Motel: Music from Slide with Steve Mackey and eighth blackbird. In April 2012 The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation named Mr. Eckert as one of 21 inaugural Doris Duke Artists.

Puppet designer and theater-maker Julian Crouch was a founding member of Improbable Theatre and was co-director and co-designer of the international and West End phenomenon Shockhead Peter. Other shows for Improbable include Satyagraha in a co-production with the English National Opera and The Metropolitan Opera; Spirit, which Crouch directed, and which was a co-production with The Royal Court; Coma, which he co-devised and co-designed; Sticky, the Hanging Man; and 70 Hill Lane. He designed and was associate director on the multi award-winning Jerry Springer: The Opera at the National Theatre, West End, and UK tour. Other recent productions include Cinderella  for The Dutch National Ballet, Dr. Atomic for The Met/ENO, The Magic Flute for Welsh National Opera, The Addams Family for Broadway, and The Enchanted Island for The Met. Mr. Crouch was an Artist-in-Residence at Park Avenue Armory in 2011

AGING MAGICIAN is co-produced by Beth Morrison Projects (Executive Producer) and VisionIntoArt.

AGING MAGICIAN is presented as part of a new partnership with The Watermill Center’s Artist Residency Program.

The Under Construction Series is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Photo: Jill Steinberg



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