Goat Island was a Chicago-based collaborative performance group, 1987–2009. The company produced performance works developed by its members for local, national and international audiences.
Members contributed to the conception, research, writing, choreography, documentation and educational demands of the work. Characteristically, rather than the usual proscenium theater situation, we attempted to establish a spatial relationship with audiences suggesting a concept, such as sporting arena or parade ground, or creating a setting for which there is no everyday comparison. We performed a personal vocabulary of movement, both dance-like and pedestrian, that often made extreme physical demands on the performers, and attention demands on the audience. We incorporated historical and contemporary issues through text and movement. We created visual/spatial images to encapsulate thematic concerns. We placed our performances in non-theatrical sites when possible. We researched and wrote collaborative lectures for public events, and often subsequently published these, either in our own artists’ books or in professional journals. Core members were Karen Christopher, Matthew Goulish, Lin Hixson, Mark Jeffery, Bryan Saner, and Litó Walkey. Associate members were Cynthia Ashby, Lucy Cash, CJ Mitchell, Judd Morrissey, Margaret Nelson, John Rich, Charissa Tolentino and Chantal Zakari.
Litó Walkey was a core member of Goat Island from 2002 to 2009. She co-developed and performed the group’s last two performances, The Lastmaker and When Will The September Roses Bloom? Last night Was Only A Comedy, and last two films, A Last, A Quartet and Daynightly they re-school you The Bears-Polka. More information about Goat Island’s performances, films, teaching, writing and publications can be found here: ︎︎︎Goat Island Website
Goat Island completed nine works: Soldier, Child, Tortured Man (1987); We Got A Date (1989); Can’t Take Johnny to the Funeral (1991); It’s Shifting, Hank (1993); How Dear to Me the Hour When Daylight Dies (1996); The Sea & Poison (1998); It’s an Earthquake in My Heart (2001); When will the September roses bloom? Last night was only a comedy (2004); and The Lastmaker (2007). The company toured the US and to England, Scotland, Wales, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, Germany, and Canada. Goat Island ended with final performances of The Lastmaker at Swain Hall, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, February 2009.
︎︎︎Goat Island Films DVD leaflet [PDF]
︎︎︎Response essay by Sabina Holzer [PDF]
The Lastmaker and When Will The September Roses Bloom? Last night Was Only A Comedy
Venice Theater Biennale
PS 122 New York
Dance 4 Nottingham
Athenaeum Theater Chicago
New Moves Tramway Glasgow
Battersea Arts Center London
Arnolfini Live Bristol
Triskel Arts Center Cork
Alfred Ve Dvore Prague
INTransit, Haus der Kultur der Welt Berlin
Forum Freies Theater Düsseldorf