David Schweizer directs the new work, which is slated to officially open June 5 at the company's downtown Manhattan home for a run through July 1.
Horizon centers around "Reinhart Poole, an unconventional theologian and teacher of ethics at a seminary, who has been pressured to resign by dogmatic powers within his church, works all night on his last class, his lecture," read show materials. "He also talks with his wife, argues with the ghost of his brother, remembers conversations, and indulges his hobby: writing a comic allegory about two ageless masons who've been building the same church foundation for 1750 years."
Joining Eckert — who plays the central character Poole — in the Horizon cast is David Barlow and Howard Swain. The work is approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.
Of his work, Rinde Eckert states, "The basis for many of the ruminations in Horizon is a modest study of the life and ideas of Reinhold Niebuhr, an influential American theologian and social theorist. But although those familiar with Niebuhr's ideas may see the ghost of them here, one ought not to strain the comparison. My grandfather Thomas D. Rinde, a Lutheran minister, taught religious history at a seminary in Fremont, Nebraska, also serving as its director for many years. I like to think he would be pleased to find himself implicated here in my imagined teacher Reinhart Poole."
The design team for the production — created, written and composed by Eckert — features Alexander V. Nichols (set and lighting) and Gregory T. Kuhn (sound design and operation). Recordings in the new work are composed and performed by Eckert. The world premiere of Horizon — which was co-commissioned by the University of Nebraska (Lied Center for Performing Arts), the University of California, Davis (Mondavi Center), the University of Maryland (Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center) and New Jersey's Montclair State University (Arts & Cultural Programming) — was presented in October 2005 at the Johnny Carson Theatre at the University of Nebraska's Lied Center in Lincoln.
Composer, writer, performer and director Eckert's credits include And God Created Great Whales, Highway Ulysses, An Idiot Divine and Orpheus X — which made him a finalist for the Pulitzer.
Tickets for Horizon at New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th Street (between Second Avenue and Bowery), are available by calling (212) 239-6200. For more information visit the website at www.nytw.org.