Wet the Hippo, led by Artistic Director and Founder John Gilkey, offers a place and an infrastructure to support a widening community of performers and makers who value and encourage a shared search for the ridiculous, sincere, funny, and sublime. The group promotes a loose collection of autonomous shows, experimental in form and content, that abandon fixed rules and seek connection to a live audience.
John Gilkey is the Founder and Artistic Director of Wet The Hippo. He has performed internationally for more than thirty years in circus, variety, comedy clubs, theater and television. Gilkey has played a lead role in four Cirque Du Soleil productions; Quidam, Dralion, Varekai, and Iris. Gilkey’s career in circus, comedy and theater spans over thirty-five years and includes creative projects with Cirque Du Soleil, Pixar, Dragone and a whole bunch of others.
Max Baumgarten is a Los Angeles-based performer and writer whose most recent released works in the fields of comedic video, commercial, experimental theater and independent short film have gained notable press, international acclaim and record-breaking online viewership. Baumgarten has performed and co-created new experimental physical theater works in Berlin, Melbourne, Edinburgh, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles with cutting edge companies including Four Larks Theatre, Wet the Hippo, and Spiegelworld.
Pearl Marill is an actress, dancer, and choreographer. Isadora Duncan Dance Award-Winner for “Outstanding Achievement in Ensemble Performance 2012,” and winner of Shortlived 2016 short play festival, Marill’s work has been seen locally and internationally. She is currently continuing her research on the intersection of improvisation, comedy, and dance in the World Arts and Cultures/Dance M.F.A. program at UCLA.
Tyler Watson hails from the little bay town of Benicia, CA, but currently resides in Los Angeles where he teaches, directs and performs as part of Wet the Hippo Collective and The Idiot Workshop alongside John Gilkey. He has worked with Spiegelworld in Vegas and Edinburgh Fringe. He’s an untrained dancing fool, and writes when he isn’t making a fool of himself onstage.
Originally from Los Angeles, Eli Weinberg works across media in comedy, dance and theater. He has performed and toured with the Wet The Hippo Collective, Four Larks, Tandy Beal and Company, FLEX Dance Company, Péndulo Cero Dance Company (Mexico, Colombia), The Las Vegas Shakespeare Company and for choreographers Danielle Agami (Ate9 Dance Company), Sommer Ulrickson, Ted Warburton and David Popalisky.