In her latest work, Getalong Little Doggie, performance artist and director Dolores Wilber uses the Rolling Stones, songs of the Civil War, a gunfight scene lifted from the film Dead Man, and chest-bashing duels to examine the creation of male identity through conflict and one-upmanship. “There are a lot of duels,” she says, both what she calls “traditional” competitions and the aforementioned body-pounding type. “I was interested in looking at the different ways confrontation takes place.”

Wilber and her performers–Michael Stumm, Molloy Golden, Murray McKay, and 12-year-old Kevin Simonds, the son of a friend–worked over 12 weeks to create the performance. According to Wilber, Simonds’s status as the only boy in the cast paralleled his role as a youth fascinated by the world of men. “It was interesting how influenced he was by the adults–how much it was about

him fitting in,” she says. Yet “there were some things he just wouldn’t do,” like sing in public or take off his shirt to knock chests. Other bits in the piece reflect the goofy side of male bonding, such as the Fabulous Chin Brothers, upside-down talking chins with drawn-on features, which grew out of games the guys played in rehearsal “to see what would happen.”

Getalong Little Doggie will be performed Friday and Saturday at 8 at Link’s Hall Studio, 3435 N. Sheffield. Tickets are $10. Call 773-281-0824.

–Cara Jepsen

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Paul Chan.