Timothy McCain


Timothy McCain is a playwright, actor, and director. He was a cofounding member of Goat Island Performance Group. He is currently a member of The Moving Dock Theatre Company's acting ensemble, where he was most recently seen in Voices from the Dark, which also featured his writing. His work has been seen at the Padua Hills Playwright's Festival, Performance Space 122 in New York, the ICA in London, the Arnolfini, Bristol, UK, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MCA in Chicago, as well as other venues throughout the US and Europe. His plays The True (2007) and Mmmoa! (2009) were both finalists for the Actors Theatre of Louisville Heideman Award. He has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Performance Network for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Community Arts Program, and British Arts Council Grant for his work in theatre/performance and playwriting.

His theatre process has been written about in The Drama ReviewTheatre JournalThe Analysis of Performance Art, Physical Theatre: A Critical IntroductionA World of Art, Devising Performance: a critical historyArt in Chicago: A History from the Fire to NowTheatres of Immanence: Deleuze and the Ethics of PerformanceAmerican Theatre Ensembles Volume 1: Post-1970: Theatre X, Mabou Mines, Goat Island, Lookingglass Theatre, Elevator Repair Service, and SITI Company, and Small Acts of Repair.

His play The Previous Cry was published in Imagined Theatres: Writing for the Theoretical Stage (Routledge 2017). Imagined Theatres collects theoretical dramas written by some of the leading scholars and artists of the contemporary stage. These dialogues, prose poems, and microfictions describe imaginary performance events that explore what might be possible and impossible in the theatre. Timothy’s work is also featured as part of Routledge Performance Archive: Soldier, Child, Tortured Man: Performance by Goat Island.

He is also a member of Pedagogy & Theatre of the Oppressed, Inc. (PTO) supports people whose work challenges oppressive systems by promoting critical thinking and social justice through liberatory theatre and popular education. Timothy trained with Augusto Boal, who created the Theatre of the Oppressed, a form of interactive theatre intended to transform lives as spectators become performers, acting out solutions to social problems.

Timothy’s screenplay The Bearer, based on his play of the same name, finished filming in New Orleans in July 2022. The film is currently in Post-production.


goat island archive–we have discovered the performance by making it The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events at the Chicago Cultural Center (March-June 2019)

The Previous Cry, published in Imagined Theatres: Writing for a Theoretical Stage, Ed. Daniel Sack: Routledge (2017)

Mmmoa!  2009 Finalist for the Heideman Award

The True  2007 Finalist for Heideman Award  

By Obit EP Theater, Chicago, IL, 2008

The Bearer and Haunt O Theater at Chicago Dramatists, Chicago, IL, 2002

How Dear To Me the Hour When Daylight Dies MCA, Chicago, IL, February, 1996 Euroka Festival, Zagreb, Croatia, June, 1996 Center for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, UK, March/May, 1996

It’s Shifting, Hank Belluard, Fribourg, Swizerland, July, 1994 Ferens Live Art Space, Hull, UK, June, 1994 Arnolfini, Bristol, UK, June, 1994 Center for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, Scotland, May, 1994

Can’t Take Johnny to the Funeral Arnolfini, Bristol, UK, June, 1994 Walker Art Center in association with Minnesota Dance Alliance, Minneapolis, MN, March, 1992 Vooruit Cetre d’Arts Teaterzaal, Ghent, Belgium, May, 1991

We Got A Date Arnolfini, Bristol, UK June 1994 Vooruit Centre d’Arts Teaterzaal, Ghent, Belgium, May, 1991 Institute of Contemporary Art, Theatre Space, London, June, 1990 Mayfest, Third Eye Center, Glasgow, Scotland, May, 1990 Performance Space 122, New York, April, 1990

Soldier, Child, Tortured Man  Padua Hills Playwrights Festival in association with Cactus Foundation, Los Angeles, CA, July, 1988, Performance Space 122, New York, NY,  June, 1988