A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

From the Archives

Top (left to right): Matthew Goulish and Joan Dickinson. Bottom (left to right): Tim McCain and Greg McCain

Over the course of nine performances, Goat Island created immersive experiences that explored and challenged the traditional format of performance art. Founded in 1987, the group combined Professor Lin Hixson’s physically exhausting choreography with elements of narrative, dance, theater, writing, and movement to create a singular vision of what performance could be. We Got A Date, performed by founding members Adjunct Professor Matthew Goulish, Tim McCain, and Greg McCain along with Joan Dickinson, premiered in 1989 at the Wellington Avenue Church gymnasium in Chicago. The performance explored concepts of private shame and public reckoning over the course of three narratives and would go on to tour internationally through 1992. Before disbanding in 2009, Goat Island taught a generation of performance artists to approach their art with the same interdisciplinary thinking that made each of its performances so influential. The Chicago Cultural Center will be hosting a retrospective exhibition in 2019. Speaking on this retrospective, Goulish says, “I’m very interested in seeing whether [our] spirit can transcend the actual, historical moment of the work and translate across—temporally across—the years.” As a featured exhibition in the Year of Chicago Theatre, goat island archive—we have discovered the performance by making it, will be on display at the Chicago Cultural Center from March 30–June 23, 2019. The exhibition will include new performance works developed during the IN>TIME 19 festival from February 1–28.