“The storytelling is nimble and playful, yet it also has a satisfyingly wide arc. The actors get full marks for sharply and swiftly etching so many characters; every person, animal or thing is crystal clear. This show will be hard to beat.

—Nelson Pressley, Washington Post

A gorgeous presentation of the American pioneer narrative using physical theatre and an earthy prairie palette.”

—Elizabeth Withey, Edmonton Journal

“Weaving together three classic novels by Americana author Willa Cather, Animal Engine’s sole members Karim Muasher and Carrie Brown prove themselves as masterful storytellers.

—Erica Reich, East Village Arts

“On a bare stage, with the use of a few objects including a brown bowler hat, a red shawl and a couple of spoons, the audience is taken on a clever, sweet and imaginative journey.

—Joan Kane, NY Theater Now

“At the end of the show, you feel good. You are happy and hopeful. You know you are in the presence of love. As well as great theater.

—Joe Gorman, Cincinnati City Beat (Critic's Pick!)

“The great fact was the land itself, which seemed to overwhelm the little beginnings of human society that struggled in its sombre wastes.”

-Willa Cather


“The school performance of Petunia and Chicken was incredibly moving! It was educational, comedic, tragic, and thought provoking! I wish they could have stayed in Sioux City and performed the show for all the high schools and middle schools! Also their workshops were engaging and met many Iowa Core Standards! I hope to have you all back very soon!

—Wendy Bryce, English teacher / East High School (Sioux City, Iowa)

“Highly inventive! Showed wonderful creativity, and had emotional depth. The performers held our attention and told a wonderful story.”

—Sarah Taylor, Language Arts teacher / Nova Classical Academy (St. Paul, Minnesota)

“The performance was interesting and engaging! Many students said they didn’t expect to like it as much as they did!”

—Karri Heath, Language Arts teacher / Durant High School (Durant, Iowa)

“The actors/instructors did exactly what all great teachers do: made the students comfortable and feel welcome, give instruction, practice, and then combine it all. Very enjoyable to see the students perform and having a truly liberating time with their many talents, and playing off one another for even better creativity, with these very skilled artists.

—Djana Trofimoff, English teacher / Belton High School (Belton, Missouri)

“I loved the way that the workshop got the students to think about the themes in the story as well as to think about their lives. I truly loved the creative writing piece!”

—Roxanne Whiting, English teacher / Gothenburg High School (Gothenburg, NE)

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