Goat Island Performance Group
US Artist- Collective Performance Art, Theater, Installation
Goat Island was a Chicago-based collaborative performance group that made nine intimate, low-tech and intensely physical performance works that toured internationally, between 1987 and 2009.
Core members are Karen Christopher, Matthew Goulish, Lin Hixson (director), Mark Jeffery, Bryan Saner, and Litó Walkey. Associate members are Cynthia Ashby, Lucy Cash (formerly Lucy Baldwyn), CJ Mitchell, Judd Morrissey, Margaret Nelson, John Rich, Charissa Tolentino and Chantal Zakari.
Members contribute to the conception, research, writing, choreography, documentation, and educational demands of the work. Characteristically we attempt to establish a spatial relationship with audiences, other than the usual proscenium theater situation, which may suggest a concept, such as sporting arena or parade ground, or may create a setting for which there is no everyday comparison. We perform a personal vocabulary of movement, both dance-like and pedestrian, that often makes extreme physical demands on the performers, and attention demands on the audience. We incorporate historical and contemporary issues through text and movement. We create visual/spatial images to encapsulate thematic concerns. We place our performances in non-theatrical sites when possible. We research and write collaborative lectures for public events, and often subsequently publish these, either in our own artists’ books, or in professional journals.
Goat Island was founded in 1987 and incorporated in 1989 as a non-profit organization to produce collaborative performance works developed by its members for local, national, and international audiences. Eight completed works include 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); and When will the September roses bloom? Last night was only a comedy (2004). The company has toured the US and England, Scotland, Wales, Belgium, 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.