Stanford Live, April 2015
Co-created/Composed/Performed by Mikel Rouse Co-created/Composed/Performed by Ben Neill Directed by Bob McGrath Set Design by Jim Findlay Projection Designer by Jeff Sugg Sound Design by Christopher Ericson Produced by ArKtype / Thomas O. Kriegsmann in collaboration with Ridge Theater MAP Fund Grantee The Demo is a music theater work written by composer/performers Mikel Rouse and Ben Neill based on Douglas Engelbart's historic 1968 demonstration of early computer technology. Engelbart's 1968 demo rolled out virtually everything that would define modern computing; videoconferencing, hyperlinks, networked collabora- tion, digital text editing, and something called a mouse, laying the ground work for the future of our society in a mere 90 minutes. Directed by Bob McGrath, The Demo re-imagines Engelbart's historic demonstration as a technologically-infused music theater piece, a new form of hybrid performance.
Douglas Engelbart is the most influential figure in the early history of computers and the Internet. His unique vision turned the computing world on its head in the 1950s and 60s and he is responsible for inventing many of the tools that we now take for granted in our daily lives. The Demo re-imagines Engelbart's historic 1968 demo as a technologically infused music/video performance. In The Demo, the legendary event and Engelbart's life journey are re-imagined as a new form of hybrid performance art.
Rouse portrays Engelbart in The Demo, while Neill plays his technical assistant, William English. Using the video of the original 1968 demo in its full 100 minute form, the artists are creating a piece built on the formal framework of this historic event. The Demo is being created collaboratively with NCSA and includes re-enactments of the demonstration, live vocal and electronic music, interactive video, computer-based voice processing and triggering, and Neill’s interactive electro-acoustic instrument, the mutantrumpet. The typed text of the original demo serves as the libretto for the vocals, performed by Rouse and others, repurposing the technical jargon as opera supertitles. Video scenes that evoke important elements in Engelbart's personal journey, including the epiphanies which set him on the course that would ultimately result in the mother of all demos, are interspersed throughout the piece.
The Difficulty of Crossing a Field
An opera by David Lang and Mac Wellman based on an Ambrose Bierce tale about an inquest into the strange disappearance of an Alabama planter just before the Civil War.
ANATOMY THEATRE is part multimedia opera, part conceptual art installation that conjures a time in which "specialists" traveled from town to town in pre-modern Europe, dissecting the corpses of executed criminals to seek evidence of corruption in the interior of the human body.
A joyous, grisly theatrical event by Pulitzer Prize winning composer David Lang, and world renowned conceptual artist Mark Dion.
LA Opera 2016, Lincoln Center 2016
WOYZECK: "I dreamed about killing you again last night..."
Award-winning playwright Neil Labute riffs on Wilco in the opening to his fresh adaptation of Georg Buchner's classic work. An investigation of desire, exploitation, and madness, Labute's WOYZECK brings a new fire to this canonical tale.
Performing at UC Davis in the Spring of 2015.