Deke Weaver bringing 'Wolf' to Art Theater
CHAMPAIGN — Deke Weaver will present twice on Monday at the Art Theater Co-op a live solo show with video to reprise "Wolf," the third performance in his lifelong project, "The Unreliable Bestiary."
The live event distills Weaver's original September 2013 sprawling "Wolf" performance into a one-man presentation that is part live performance, part cinematic documentation, he said. He estimates the running time at 75 minutes.
The shows will be at 6 and 8 p.m. at the Art, 126 W. Church St., C. Admission to each is $9; all proceeds will go to the Art Theater Co-op.
"Wolf" was written by Weaver and co-directed by him and Jennifer Allen, a choreographer who also performed in "Wolf," along with others.
The original "Wolf" performance began in Urbana, with people boarding buses to be driven to Allerton Park outside Monticello for the performance proper.
During the ride, "park rangers," including Weaver, gave video-accompanied talks about wolves, told stories about wolves, sang songs and taught people how to howl.
After arriving at Allerton at dusk, the people were divided into herds representing the Bison, the Deer, the Elk and the Moose. Rangers led them silently through the woods — things happened along the way — to the Allerton Music Barn, where "Wolf" continued with dance, sound, stories and art displays.
In Weaver's "Unreliable Bestiary" project, he creates and performs shows about animals on the endangered species list. The first ones were "Monkey" and "Elephant."
"Each installment of Deke Weaver's 'Unreliable Bestiary' has been more incredible than the last," art historian Jonathan Fineberg wrote. "Perhaps it's the brilliant storytelling, or maybe it's Weaver's performance presence. 'Wolf' is one of the most moving and profound and completely immersive theater experiences I've ever had.
"It somehow taps deep into your own childhood psyche to give you an empathic — and fantastic — connection to the animal kingdom that just doesn't go away."
For more information, visit unreliablebestiary.org/.