In October 2007, we premiered our ninth and final piece, The Lastmaker.
The piece takes its inspiration from the historical trajectory of the Hagia Sophia: church/mosque/museum, considered here as movements encountered on different planes. Situated between an audience seated at opposite sides of a square stage, the performance begins with an architectural dance, in detailed triadic rounds. The performers diverge and reconverge, in accordance with hybrid mathematics, to a regular beat with irregular measures. An archive of the restless ghosts of varied pasts emerges in the piece's second half, a high-energy concert of three-minute acts that include a female impersonation of Lenny Bruce's last routine, a performer singing a pop spiritual and accompanying himself on the saw, reenactments of Saint Francis's farewell instructions, the last minute of J. S. Bach's Art of the Fugue, and a gentle dialogue between an aging poet and a young assistant on composing a poem that says goodbye. Impending battle, the clash of knights in armor, haunts the margins of the piece. Ascension – a poem, a song, a cloud – make up its epilogue.
The Lastmaker recapitulates the concerns of 20 years of Goat Island, in what we hope will be a fitting conclusion to our contribution – a journey, within a restrained structure, from the intellectual to the emotional, with lasting resonance.
The Lastmaker is co-commissioned by the Chicago Cultural Center, Nuffield Theatre (Lancaster), Chelsea Theatre (London), Alfred ve Dvore Theatre (Prague) with support from the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), and a co-production of Teatar &TD (Zagreb) with support from the FACE Croatia program of CEC ArtsLink. Goat Island's work on this piece was partly supported by the Multi-Arts Production Fund of the Creative Capital Foundation, CityArts Program 1 from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Illinois Arts Council a state agency, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and private donors. The UK Tour has been produced by Dance4 and funded by Arts Council England