Deke Weaver is a collector of stories. His project, the Unreliable Bestiary, is a lifelong multi-dimensional series of performances, online archive of performance notes and a set of books that embraces “our precarious moment in natural history - an ark of stories about animals, our relationships with them, and the worlds they inhabit. The project will present a performance for each letter of the alphabet - the letter representing a particular endangered animal or habitat,” says Weaver on his website about the overall project. The newest addition to an ambitious clutch of devised performance environments centers on the mythos and the realities of the WOLF.

WOLF, the planet’s most widely distributed land mammal is a living environmental metaphor and the heart of a new multimedia pageant created by performer/playwright & media artist Deke Weaver and choreographed by Jennifer Allen.  In September of 2013, WOLF was a site-specific presentation that took place in East Central Illinois. After a park-ranger-guided bus trip to a forested park, the audience was led over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house: a barn filled with video, dance, music, and stories that pulled some of the threads together.  

On Monday evening, November 10th, The Goat Farm Arts Center is proud to present WOLF to Atlanta audiences. The touring version of WOLF distills a sprawling site-specific event into a one-man presentation that is part live performance and part cinematic documentation fit for the intimacy of the Goat Farm’s Rodriguez Room.

Choreographed, performed, codirected by Jennifer Allen. Written, performed, video, produced, codirected by Deke Weaver. This sample features Deke Weaver as the Carnivore Expert, Jennifer Allen, Nico Brown, Laura Chairamonte, Jessica Cornish, Niall Jones and Angie Pittman as wolves, Beth Simpson, David Hays and Aaron Landsman as rangers providing a slide-whistle chorus composed by Chris Peck. Our Unreliable Bestiary performances layer scientific and cultural information with history, myth, and myth-making. WOLF was a three-part, three-hour performance. This work sample documents some of the textures that made up the last leg of the piece. Set in a barn (Allerton Park, Illinois) filled with tree stumps for seats and 2 large video projections (forest, lakes, the cosmos, wolves), the choreography of the wolves slipped in and out of representation. Much of the movement vocabulary was sourced from an exploration of basic, “at rest,” wolf behavior (sitting, standing and sleeping) in order to counter the more active material (running, chasing, eating) the audience had seen outside on the walk to the barn. Additionally, I used spatial patterns inherent in the biologic organization of a wolf pack, a highly structured hierarchy. Here we see the pack expelling a weak member, creating a “lone wolf”. This leads into one of the narrative threads about Fenris, Nordic mythology’s giant wolf-pup. All the textures - choreography, text, video, and sound - work together to support a multi-channel experience. In contrast to the more expansive WOLF and ELEPHANT events, 2016’s LIONS and TIGERS and BEARS will work with constriction to achieve a different kind of transformation. All the stories will take place in a confined “cage.”

Deke Weaver’s WOLF  is a recipient of The Goat Farm Arts Center Arts Investment Package (AIP). The Goat Farm’s AIP vehicle funds, produces & presents experimental & innovative works that “pattern-break” & excite new thinking.  The Goat Farm’s Review Board recognizes that consistent vanguard arts programming contributes to Atlanta’s global relevancy.


Deke Weaver is a writer, performer, designer, and media artist. His interdisciplinary performances and videos have been presented in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Europe, and the United States at experimental theater, film/video, dance, solo performance, and broadcast venues such as Channel 4/U.K., the Sundance Film Festival, the New York Video Festival at Lincoln Center, The Berlin Video Festival, the Museum of Contemporary Art/LA, The Moth, and many others including livestock pavilions, night clubs, backyard sheds and living rooms. He has been a resident artist at Yaddo, Isle Royale National Park, HERE, Ucross, and the MacDowell Colony. His work has been supported by commissions, fellowships, and grants from The Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, the city of San Francisco, the states of Illinois and New York, the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), and other public and private foundations. He is currently an associate professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with appointments in the School of Art and Design and Department of Theater.


Hybrid developments that assemble Art, Performance, Science, Design, Technology & Small Manufacturing entities in Built Environments that simultaneously operate as Centers for Contemporary Art & Performance. This blending of disciplines seeks to increase Atlanta's relevancy, economic opportunity and market competitiveness. Goat Farm environments look to the future to trigger new thinking, new technologies and linking innovation and invention to the City of Atlanta. More information:


WHAT: Deke Weaver’s WOLF

WHEN: November 10, 2014, 8PM

WHERE: Rodriguez Room, 1200 Foster Street, Atlanta, GA 30076

PRICE: Free & Open to the Public

AGE RESTRICTIONS: from Weaver’s website, “The WOLF performance is not designed for children, but it's probably appropriate for 4th grade and up. Of course it depends on the kid and the parent. There is video footage of wolves eating a deer, but it's probably not as bad as what you might see on a TV nature documentary. The show includes some coarse language, loud sounds/music.”