Tranquility isn’t Bliss: “Reagan Esther Myer”

Photo taken by the Queen Geek; oh look, a room full of nightmares.

Presented by Rebecca Kopycinski
Mixing and video art by Michael Dewberry

June 27 – 30, 2019
Center for the Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA
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Critique by Kitty Drexel

 “WARNING! You exhibit symptoms of a glitched ThotBot. An ULTRA Operative has been deployed to reboot your operating system. Avoid contact with other Bots until you have been successfully rebooted.”  –, on 6/28/2019.

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — The ThotBot Implantation Center fliers are all over Camberville. An acquaintance assumed they were for a cult. No, they are for Reagan Esther Myer, a one-woman, multimedia, performance art concert about a dystopian future in which The Ultra leads through thought-control and nearly all human brains rely on tech to retain peace of mind. In these days of Texas concentration camps and selling your gold for cash, this science fiction drama isn’t at all far fetched.   

To sum up the show, TV personality and survivalist Reagan Meyer (Rebecca Kopycinski) is surviving the ThotBot-controlled apocalypse in the remains of the Meadow Glen Mall when she receives a message from her dead sister, Trudy (role uncredited on the web or in the program). Trudy assures Reagan that she is alive and wants to be Reagan’s beneficiary. Reagan, with her chorus of heartful mannequins, can only respond in the way she knows how: song. 

Photo taken by the Queen Geek; the world needs more lerts.

The set for Reagan Esther Myer is as monstrous as it is beautiful. Vaguely reminiscent of early “I want my MTV” commercials, it channels the best and worst of 80’s and 90’s screen media into an art project-like acid trip. It’ll either prick your nostalgia nerve or confirm your nightmares.

A photo of the artist with her creations.

All of the artistic, plot and design elements come together very well. It isn’t simple or easy to write, direct, and star in one’s own show and Kopycinski manages the whole shebang. While a director isn’t credited in the show’s program (nor are the actors in the video clips played during the performance), it may be worthwhile to bring one in to tweak the dramatic arcs of the show. The pacing lags just before and after songs. The bare bones for these elements are already in the production but they lack nuance. An outside perspective could take this production to the next level.  

Kopycinski has a siren-like singing voice. If Kate Bush and Jim Steinman carried a love child, Kopycinski might be it. But her diction can be hard to follow; Kopycinski’s vowels are pure but her consonants are diminutive. The song lyrics are included in the program but following along means we can’t fully absorb Kopycinski’s music. 

Reagan Esther Myer would be a perfect fit for Club Oberon. It’s not there yet but maybe it will be with enough support. Cash strapped attendees should note that one can volunteer in exchange for a comp ticket. Please contact Rebecca at for details.

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