Goat Island (performance group)

Goat Island was a collaborative performance group based in Chicago, Illinois and founded in 1987.[1] They toured internationally and made nine performance works before disbanding.[2] In 2006 they announced The Lastmaker (2007) would be the last work that they would create as a company, and the final performances were held at Swain Hall, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in February 2009.

As their final project, they created a film based on The Lastmaker, published under the title A Last, A Quartet a collection of films,[3] which also contained previous films made by Goat Island.

In 2019, the Chicago Cultural Center hosted a cross disciplinary retrospective: goat island archive – we have discovered the performance by making it.[4] The event included an exhibition, archives, a performance series, and symposia.[5]



Goat Island members have included:

  • Karen Christopher (1990-2009)
  • Joan Dickinson (1988-1990)
  • Matthew Goulish (1987-2009)
  • Lin Hixson (director, 1997-2009)
  • Mark Jeffery (1996-2009)
  • Greg McCain (1987-1995)
  • Timothy McCain (1987-1995)
  • Antonio Poppe (1995-1996)
  • Bryan Saner (1995-2009)
  • Charissa Tolentino (2008)
  • Litó Walkey (2002-2009)


  • 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)
  • The Lastmaker (2007)


  1. ^ Cull, Laura (2009). Deleuze and performance. Deleuze connections. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University press. pp. 132–146. ISBN 978-0-7486-3504-7.
  2. ^ "Goat Island - Routledge Performance Archive". www.routledgeperformancearchive.com. Retrieved 2024-03-21.
  3. ^ Unbound. "Unbound - Live Art - Books, DVDs and Editions". Unbound. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  4. ^ "goat island archive – we have discovered the performance by making it". www.chicago.gov. Retrieved 2024-03-21.
  5. ^ Tsatsos, Irene; Dickinson, Joan; Christopher, Karen; Goulish, Matthew; McCain, Greg; McCain, Tim (1991). "Talking with Goat Island: An Interview with Joan Dickinson, Karen Christopher, Matthew Goulish, Greg McCain, and Tim McCain". TDR. 35 (4): 66–74. doi:10.2307/1146163. JSTOR 1146163.


  • Bottoms, Stephen J., and Matthew Goulish, eds. 2007. Small Acts of Repair: Performance, Ecology, and Goat Island. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-36515-4.
  • Goat Island, 2000. "School Book 2: Goat Island." Chicago: Goat Island and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • Goulish, Matthew. 2000. 39 Microlectures: In Proximity of Performance. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-21393-6.
  • Hixson, Lin and Goulish, Matthew. 2007. "A Lasting Provocation". TDR: The Drama Review 51.4 (T 196 Winter): 2-3.
  • Lowe, Nicholas, and Skaggs, Sarah, 2020 (editor Mike Vanden Heuvel) "Goat Island". American Theatre Ensembles Volume 1. Post-1970: Theatre X, Mabou Mines, Goat Island, Lookingglass Theatre, Elevator Repair Service, and SITI Company. Methuen Drama/Bloomsbury Press, London, UK. ISBN 978-1-350-05154-6 129-221.