December 19, 2023 - January 20, 2024
In 2018, Every house has a door director Lin Hixson and dramaturg Matthew Goulish initiated The Carnival of the Animals, a multi-year collaboration with Helsinki-based costumer and textile artist Essi Kausalainen. The project set out to follow the 14-movement structure of Camille Saint-Saëns’s 1886 musical suite for children, devising a corresponding original performance work in response to each of the titles, following those imaginative classifications while focusing on endangered species and the concept of extinction. In January 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company converted a residential garage into a DIY film studio to make a series of short Carnival performance films, featuring local Chicago performers and original costumes and textiles designed and constructed by Essi in Finland and shipped to Chicago.
Aquarium surveys an impossible ecosystem of three endangered sea entities: Lesser Electric Ray (Bryan Saner), Eyelash Seaweed (Elise Cowin), and Limestone (Alex Bradley Cohen). Madeleine Aguilar wrote and performed the original Aquarium Song, with lyrics adapted from a poem by Ed Roberson (the poet and one-time diver/tankman at the Pittsburgh Aquazoo).