Video game for the stage about sharing the load of revolution
Patrick Blenkarn (Canada) — co-direction, text, programming, pixel art, 2D animation
Milton Lim (Canada) — co-direction, text, sound design, video, 3D visual effects
Laurel Green (Canada) — dramaturgy, text, touring producer
David Mesiha (Canada) — original music, sound design
Clarissa Picolo (Brazil) — pixel art, animation
William Roth (France) — pixel art, animation
Ariadne Sage (Germany) — 3D environments
Samuel Reinhart (USA) — additional programming
Marcos Krivocapich (Argentina) — Spanish translation
Tomorrow’s the day of the great protest. The unemployed asses of Fannyside Farms and Butte Mines are uniting to march on the nearby village. They have one demand: the humans must give up their machines and give all donkeys their jobs back. But revolution is never that easy. When the herd finds itself in control, the asses must find new ways of working together to survive a world set on forgetting them.
Each night, brave spectators take turns stepping forward to become the players of a custom-made video game. Told across 10 episodes and through a myriad of video game forms, the asses (and the live audience) must work together to confront its growing division between those who, harbouring nostalgia for ‘the old ways’, reject technology and those who embrace technology as an adaptation for surviving the present.
Cheeky, political, and best described as Animal Farm meets Aesop’s Fables retold by Franz Kafka, Karl Marx, and Sonic the Hedgehog, asses.masses puts the control(ler) in its audience’s hands and asks them to explore the space between the work that defines us and the play that frees us.
Developed with support from the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, The Theatre Centre, BC Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, VIVO Media Arts, the Embassy of Canada to Argentina and Paraguay, and the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund.
Selected Development and Presentations:
September 22 - 24, 2023: The Theatre Centre (Toronto, CA)
September 1 - 10, 2023: UNAM (Mexico City, MEX) *en español
June 8, 2023: FOLDA— Festival of Live Digital Art (Kingston, ON)
June 9, 2023: Stages Festival (Halifax, CA)
March 2 - 4, 2023: La Usina del Arte, Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires (FIBA) (Buenos Aires, ARG) *en español
May 9 - 15, 2022: Hybrid by Design Festival, The Theatre Centre (Toronto, CA)
August 23 - Sep 12, 2021: Creation Residency: The Theatre Centre (Toronto, CA)
March 2-4, 2021: Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires (FIBA) (Buenos Aires, ARG) *en español
“Dramaturgy—from the Bottom Up: exploring strategies for bridging videos games and live performance in asses.masses”, LMDA 2021 (Mexico City)