THE DISASTERS OF 1986 by composer-performer Eric Reda follows a 12-year-old boy as he navigates the public and personal tragedies of this absurdly arduous year. From the Challenger to Chernobyl to Iran-Contra, he is guided by his “Television Grandfather” Ronald Reagan through a series of poignant—and often comic—tableaus, presenting a poetic meditation on the current state of world affairs and the human condition.
The multidisciplinary, multimedia stage work for solo performer incorporates live music, clowning, projections, 8-BIT art, vintage instruments, puppetry, and dance. The unique juxtaposition of music, lyrics, images, and semi-autobiographical narrative will be filled with a healthy dose of music hall whimsy and DIY aesthetic.
Throughout THE DISASTERS OF 1986, visual imagery melds with sound and music to create a complex and moving experience. Symbols of corporate and political America invade the world of the piece, becoming distorted and abstracted into poetic imagery that correspond to the ever shifting texture of the score.
During his time as a Sponsored Artist, Reda will further develop and rehearse selections of DISASTERS for a Works-in-Progress showing. The studio will also be used for filming, documentation, and studio visits.
Eric Reda is a composer and multimedia artist and has spent his career bridging opera and performance art. He studied Composition and Opera at Arizona State University and he has participated in masterclasses with Philip Glass, Joan Tower, Tobias Picker, Anthony Braxton, and Libby Larson. Reda also took part in the West Coast premiere of Meredith Monk and Ann Hamilton’s Mercy, and appeared in the American premiere of choreographer Pina Bausch’s dance theatre work, Nur Du.
His output includes music, graphic design, political actions, illustration, video, digital, fontography, theatrical installations, and ephemera. Reda’s works often incorporate deconstructed aural and visual samples in order to create experiential topographies that are both familiar and unexpected.
Reda was founding Artistic Director of Chicago Opera Vanguard (COV), which produced from 2006-2013. COV created accessible and immersive theatrical experiences that explore and challenge this centuries-old form. Other works by Reda include REAGAN’S CHILDREN, which premiered at Northwestern University in 2009, and THE SUITCASE at Queen’s University, Belfast (2011) and Pritzker Pavillion (2012).