Smile Politely

There will be three chances to explore Deke Weaver’s TIGER this fall

Fans of Deke Weaver’s The Unreliable Bestiary rejoice. TIGER, the 5th installment of Weaver’s life-long project, will be making three stops in the Chambana area as part of its fall tour. 

“More intimate than it’s sprawling older brothers MONKEY, ELEPHANT, WOLF, and BEAR,” TIGER promises to be part “travelogue, séance, Parisian salon, part Spalding Gray, part Laurie Anderson” featuring “dark thoughtful humor for the anthropocene.”

Written, performed, and codirected by Deke Weaver, TIGER’s award-winning collaborators include codirector/dramaturg Jayne Wenger, costume designer Susan Becker, sound designer Jacob Ross, and vis-ual artist Melissa Pokorny.

Champaign-Urbana area performances include:

The following information was provided directly from the artist.

Based in years of research, TIGER has grown at the edges of environmental conservation, advertis-ing/public-relations, and climate collapse, juxtaposing ecotourism with the villagers who are forced to compete with endangered predators for diminishing resources.  I spent time in central India’s Pench National Park, one of India’s last sanctuaries for wild tigers. To the south and east of Pench lies a differ-ent kind of tiger habitat.  Perched on the edge of the Bay of Bengal, straddling the border of India and Bangladesh at the mouth of the Ganges River Delta, the Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world. The Ganges starts in the glaciers of the Himalayas flowing south and east for 1600 miles. These glaciers are on track to be completely melted away by 2050. At 2.5 meters above sea level the Sundarbans (and most of Bangladesh) is highly vulnerable to rising seas. So, at one end of the river, the ocean is rising. At the other end, the ice is melting. In between, throughout the Ganges River Basin, lives nearly ten percent of the world’s human population.  (Did I say the show is funny?  Yes, funny!)

Cover image courtesy of Deke Weaver

Arts Editor

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