Inspired by the literary concept of the unreliable narrator and the medieval bestiary, The Unreliable Bestiary is an ark of stories about animals, humans, and planet Earth. With a team of award-winning collaborators, Deke Weaver’s life-long project is presenting a performance for every letter of the alphabet—each letter representing an endangered animal or habitat. Funny, dark, and haunting, CETACEAN (The Whale) - The Unreliable Bestiary’s sixth performance - will feature a large cast of performers, large-scale video projection, dance, and live sound design, while interweaving tales of the sea and its failing ecosystems. Over the past two years, hundreds of local students have listed their hopes and fears in CETACEAN workshops. Students burned the lists of fear, made origami stars from the lists of hope, and filled discarded plastic bottles with the ash of fear and the stars of hope. We’ll suspend thousands of these messages-in-a-bottle in the cavernous University of Illinois Stock Pavilion, and tell our stories under a sea of hope and fear.
The Unreliable Bestiary and CETACEAN (4min 50sec) A video haiku of the Bestiary's first five performances. CETACEAN will be our sixth.
ART/BTS (2min 35sec) Illinois Public Media piece on Deke Weaver and the Bestiary.