In “MOO” Circus Amok looks at controversial Stop-and-Frisk policies endangering New York City communities. The audience encounters a circus under siege! Creditors are knocking down the doors, performers disappearing left and right, and there’s a cow on the loose! How will the show go on? Astounding acrobats, bodacious bovines, and catastrophic clowns all forge ahead while a wire-walker teeters on the edge of sanity. Cops and Carol Channing mix it up in this not-to-be-missed spectacle!
Sub Prime Sublime
Circus Amok explores the economic crisis. Dorothy leaves her foreclosed home to have run-ins with Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, predatory lenders, bank CEOs and citizens looking for a fair housing situation. Everyone finds themselves at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, where they engage in Utopic ideals by Shirley Chisholm, Buckminster Fuller and Sylvester.
In 2007, Circus Amok looked at Colony Collapse Disorder. A beekeeper finds her bees disappearing and goes on a quest to find out why they have departed.
Citizen*Ship explores ideas of citizenry, nationalism, scapegoating, fearmongering, and immigration. In addition to looking at the policies of George W. Bush, the company presented images and ideas from emerging and longstanding governments of South America.
Princess: The Tail Of A Lost City
The Tail of a Lost City,” a queer political performance on city planning and housing policy. The exploits of Bluetessa and Squeemish take us on a quest for affordable housing in NYC, in a legal/magical battle between President Bush’s 2005 executive order on Eminent Domain and the civil society’s proposal of the Tenant Empowerment Act. Issues of civic representation in governmental processes spark interactive audience participation, proposing “candidates” for the Supreme Court and calling the Mayor’s Office of Operations demanding mandatory inclusionary zoning. Watch full-length video.
The Back to School Show
Through the motif of the beginning of the academic year, and in the context of the upcoming U.S. presidential elections that same year, the troupe poses a critique of issues of standardization and accountability, directed both to the public school system and to Republican U.S. President George W. Bush’s administration (and its protagonic role in the Iraq War that started in March 2003). This show honors local and international pedagogues while performing a satirical commentary on the political climate of the moment. Watch full length video.
Home * Land * Security
The piece ponders the political agendas of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, created in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and a key government department linked to the “War on Terror.” In particular, Amok discusses issues of selective profiling, surveillance, threats to citizenship, and other breaches of privacy in the public and privates spheres of civil society, enacted by the government in the name of “patriotism” and “security.” Watch full length video.
The Experimental Walking Tour
“The Walking Tour” exposes the social implications and political controversies surrounding the implementation of the U.S. Patriot Act, as well as the environment of fear, paranoia, persecution, surveillance, and questionable patriotism resulting from the political climate in the United States after the events of September 11, 2001. Watch full length video.
The Medicine Show
The Medicine Show deals with social aspects of health, exploring issues like alternative medicine, the historical portrayal of medicine products through racist propaganda, mortality, worldwide epidemics, and health insurance. In particular, the piece delves into the dark side of pharmaceutical companies’ and health insurance companies’ capitalist strategies; countering these policies, the piece strongly advocates for universal healthcare and widespread access to indispensable medical resources. Watch full length video.
Come & See For Yourselves!
In 2000, Circus Amok posed questions about poverty, monopoly of resources and other economic inequalities, along with police brutality, unequal rights for ethnic minorities and queer communities, environmental issues, political oppression, trigger-happy urban violence, and American foreign policies. Watch full length video.
Quality of Life II
Continuing to expose the failed and immoral Quality of Life policies imposed by Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Amok brings together utopic and dystopic aspects of living in NYC at the turn of the millennium. Watch full length video.
Quality of Life
Looking at the controversial Quality of Life policies created and implemented by then Mayor Rudi Giuliani, Amok looks at police brutality, unequal rights for minorities, political oppression, lack of affordable health services, and excessive construction of corporate and commercial buildings in residential areas (including the demolition of community gardens.) Watch full length video.
$$$ Money Amok $$$
Money Amok revolves around issues like financial monopolies, budget safety nets, financial loopholes, the national debt, the cutting of social programs, the corporate dependence on government handouts, and the unequal distribution of wealth under the idea of “progress.” Amok poses an open call for civic activism and empowerment, a demand for justice and for a revision of the coordinates of American civil life. Watch full length video.
NY: Ground Under II
The piece revolves around political, social and economic issues at play in New York City, while posing a critique of the disconnect between the needs of the diverse, multitudinous population of NYC vis-à-vis oppressive governmental policies impacting the city. Acts include a “short history of NY,” highlighting the geopolitical diversity of the city, along with scenes alluding to controversial budget cuts, public transportation campaign, and satires of Republican political figures. Watch full length video.
NY: Ground Under
NY: Ground Under highlights the ethnic diversity of the city’s population, while alluding to controversial budget cuts and public transportation campaigns, ineffective bureaucracy, oppressive policies regarding minorities, the pervasive presence of police forces in the public sphere, and issues of public health and environmental concerns related to waste management policies Watch full length video.
I Am You, The Hypothlamus Story
I Am You was presented in 1992 at Judson Memorial Church, a venue with a long history of supporting radical and avant-gade cultural work. 1992 also marked the movement from indoor shows at Judson and PS122 and later into the city parks. The show explored biological determinism, evolutionary psychology via juggling to Nina Hagen, and a very old “Doctor, Doctor” routine, made new with a particular Amok perspective, among other ideas.
The Survival Show
1991′s show, The Survival Show, presented the question: how do we get along day to day in the age of AIDS? Included in the show was a sideshow with text written by Sarah Schulman exhibiting a woman who wants an abortion and the last living gay man; Scott Heron’s rope-walking with aria of salad; and the first introduction of the now-legendary Circus Amok horses. Additionally, Joel Forrester acted as the composer and band director.
Spies Are Us
Through a carnivalesque “film noir” aesthetic, the piece poses a satiric critique of US foreign (and homeland security) policy, in a joyful extravaganza of acrobatic artistry, satiric skill, and good old-fashioned circus fun. The overarching theme of espionage points to conflicting relationships between “special agents” of government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and issues of distortion and disinformation, imperialism, bigotry, violence, paranoia and political impunity. Watch full length video.
The Ozone Show
Amok’s first production, The Ozone Show revolves around the topic of environmental pollution and its subsequent depletion effect on the ozone layer, along with its manifold ecological repercussions. A “lack of protection” is exposed through the denunciation of related environmental issues like the greenhouse effect, worldwide epidemics, illegal toxic wasted dumping, ineffective governmental policy, and the effect of pollution on endangered species. Watch full length video.