1st Edition

Small Acts of Repair Performance, Ecology and Goat Island

Edited By Stephen Bottoms, Matthew Goulish Copyright 2007
    264 Pages
    by Routledge

    264 Pages
    by Routledge

    Goat Island are one of the world’s leading contemporary performance ensembles. Their intimate, low-tech, intensely physical performances represent a unique hybrid of strategies and techniques drawn from live art, experimental theatre and postmodern dance. Small Acts of Repair: Performance, Ecology and Goat Island, is the first book to document and critique the company’s performances, processes, politics, aesthetics, and philosophies. It reflects on the company’s work through the critical lens of ecology – an emerging and urgent concern in performance studies and elsewhere.

    This collage text combines and juxtaposes writing by company members and arts commentators, to look in detail at Goat Island’s distinctive collaborative processes and the reception of their work in performance. The book includes a section of practical workshop exercises and thoughts on teaching drawn from the company’s extensive experience, providing an invaluable classroom resource.

    By documenting the creative processes of this extraordinary company, this book will make an important contribution to the critical debates surrounding contemporary performance practices. In so doing, it pays compelling tribute to committed art-making, creativity, collaboration, and the nature of the possible.

    A. Introduction(s)  B1. Performance  B1.1 Environment  B1.2 Response  B1.3 Body  B1.4 Time  B2. Process:  B2.1 Environment  B2.2 Response  B2.3 Body  B2.4 Time  C. Teaching  Epilogue.  Goat Island Timeline.  Bibliography and References.  Notes on Contributors


    Stephen Bottoms is a theatre researcher and practitioner, and is currently the Wole Soyinka Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at the University of Leeds. He is the author of Playing Underground: A Critical History of the 1960s Off-Off-Broadway Movement (2004), Albee: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2000), and The Theatre of Sam Shepard (1998).

    Matthew Goulish co-founded Goat Island in 1987, and has performed in all the group’s works. 39 Microlectures, a collection of his writings, was published by Routledge in 2000. He teaches in the Liberal Arts Dept. and the MFA Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and was awarded a Lannan Foundation writer’s residency in 2004/5.

    'This book includes practical workshop exercises and thoughts on teaching drawn from the company's extensive experience... a valuable classroom resource... a good introduction to Goat Island.' - Total Theatre

    'It is a treasure trove of insight for any theatre practitioner engaged in collaborative devised work, as well as anyone interested in the meeting point between aesthetics and ethics of contemporary performance' - Theatre Research International