Every house has a door (USA) and Essi Kausalainen (Finland) along with local child performers weave a circuit of language, gesture, video, and elaborate costumes around inter-species communication and the slow progress of the snail.

From the Artists:
We began work on this performance collaboration during a residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s estate on Captiva Island, FL in November and December 2016. With Lin Hixson directing, and Matthew Goulish and Essi Kausalainen performing as well as contributing writing, choreography, costumes, and video, the work proceeds from common interests in inter-species communication (human, plant, animal).  Essi wrote, “My ten-year artistic collaboration with plants has redefined my relationship with artistic ‘materials,’ my own body and those of others. I have learned to see myself as a community, an open process that is constantly taking place relative to another.” Essi’s choreographic poetry and humor provides a starting point for a circuit of research, language, and gesture, with snail-derived choreography, the deleted dance of the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, and the Pink Floyd song Scarecrow.

This project furthers our investigation into post-human themes and their direct translation into performance; that is, human collaborations (potential and actual) with plants and animals. Current philosophy dialogues rethink the human place in the world, and these questions have found their way into contemporary art. We want to afford our company and audiences more direct engagement with these themes, and the interface between the human and other life forms. The scarecrow of our title presented itself in the writing of contemporary American philosopher Alva Noë who proposed this human replica as a humble form of inter-species communication.

“There were magpies in my landscape and there were scarecrows. The scarecrows on the ground are the same thing as the magpies in the sky, they are a part of the landscape.”
– Gertrude Stein

Technical Direction & Company Manager: Christine Shallenberg
Project Development & Communications: Sarah Skaggs
Social Media Manager: Erica Moran
Scarecrow song performed by Madeleine Aguilar
Hand-cut leaves by Max Guy

Photo by Saara Autere. Scarecrow (2018) by Every house has a door, directed by Lin Hixson, performed at Mad House, Helsinki, Finland.
Pictured left to right: Ahti Leppänen, Colin Hunter, Matthew Goulish, Essi Kausalainen, Emelie Hunter.

Running Time

60 minutes, presented without intermision

Content Advisory

Steppenwolf does not offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person.If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects(such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.

Running Time

60 minutes, presented without intermision

Content Advisory

Steppenwolf does not offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person.If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects(such as strobe lights or theatrical fog) that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.