Mikel Rouse – One Boy’s Day

Creative Team

Conceived, written and directed by Mikel Rouse
Set and Production design by Jim Findlay
Set & Projection design by Jeffery Sugg
Sound design by Christopher Ericson
Lighting design by Hideaki Tsutsui
Musical direction by Matthew Gandolfo
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts: Producing Partner/Presenter
FuturePerfect Productions: Producer


One Boy’s Day Booklet


2017 – 2020: Development and production
Spring 2020: Premiere

One Boy’s Day is a new 13-hour performance-activated durational installation and music concert by New York-based composer and director Mike Rouse. The work is a minute-by-minute adaptation of a 1949 sociological report in which 8 observers meticulously documented the ordinary day of one boy in rural Kansas. As a meditation on the present moment filtered through the lenses of the past, One Boy’s Day is a ‘real-time’ multi-media playground that includes a virtual ‘mini-film set’ created with photos and diagrams from the original text and recorded electronic music accompanied by a live string quartet and singers. Local parents, teachers and schools are invited to collaborate with the artists, evoking the original Oskaloosa, Kansas community featured in the 1949 study.

FuturePerfect is seeking partners and co-commissioners for One Boy’s Day.



About Mikel Rouse
Mikel Rouse is a New York-based composer, director, performer and recording artist hailed as “a composer many believe to be the best of his generation.” (NY Times) His works include 30 records, 7 films, and a trilogy of media operas: Failing Kansas, Dennis Cleveland and The End Of Cinematics. His work has frequently appeared on Top Ten lists around the country.

In 1995, Rouse premiered and directed the first opera in his trilogy: Failing Kansas, inspired by Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. In 1996 Mr. Rouse premiered and directed the modern talk show opera Dennis Cleveland, hailed by The Village Voice as “the most exciting and innovative new opera since Einstein on the Beach”. In 2008, The Luminato Festival in Toronto, Ontario presented Mr. Rouse’s entire Opera Trilogy in repertory.

In 2010, Mr. Rouse’s New York season included the BAM premiere of Gravity Radio; 2 CD releases; 2 visual art exhibits: Passport: 30 Years Drawn on the Road (as part of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center’s announced acquisition of Rouse’s archive) and False Doors, an exhibition at the Margarete Roeder Gallery and a 2 week retrospective screening of Rouse’s films at Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center.

In 2012 Rouse became the first eDream Visiting Research Artist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Urbana, IL. Rouse recently premiered the techno opera The Demo, based on the 1968 demo of Douglas Engelbart. The Demo premiered at Bing Concert Hall in the spring of 2015 followed by worldwide international press coverage including The New York Times, Wired Magazine and ABC News.

He has received commissions from Brooklyn Academy of Music, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and Betty Freeman. Rouse’s compositions have been performed at Lincoln Center, the New York State Theater and throughout the United States and Europe and the Pacific Rim.