Coney has just presented two new pieces of interactive/playing theatre at different stages of development, Early Days (Of A Better Nation) and Codename: REMOTE. If you’re interested in making interactive theatre then email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest to join a future conversation around making interactive/playing theatre.
Early Days (Of A Better Nation) previewed on Sun 19 October at Kings College, before opening at Oval House on 14-16 November as part of UK Parliament Week. We’re hoping the show will tour the UK around the time of the next General Election.
Codename: REMOTE is in the first proper phase of creative development and scratched at BAC on 11-12 Nov, and at CPT on 28-30 Nov. We’re hoping it will be finished next year, and touring after that.
We’ve been exploring a line of conversation and investigation around the dramaturgy of interactive/playing theatre. My own provocation in curating Coney’s recent Salon on Playing Theatre was that interactivity isn’t a magic ingredient we can add to theatre where more equals better. Rather we need to distinguish the particular qualities and properties of any interactive model – and recognise the importance of the differences between them – and the ‘freedom’ it grants the audience, and ask… what does it all mean?
Both Early Days and Codename: REMOTE take big steps forward in their interactive dramaturgy from Coney’s A Small Town Anywhere. They are playing to a bigger scale, with a lot learned about games at scale from the scratch night Big Play at Shoreditch Town Hall last year. But they also each adopt a distinct interactive model, which is resonant with their themes, and places the audiences distinctively.
Early Days makes the playing audience into representatives of regions of a country in the wake of civil war, coming together to decide the system of government by which they want to live. Each region has a different political outlook, based on distinct core ideals at the heart of politics. The audience is divided into regional groups and perhaps adopt their region’s ideology and objectives, but they have to come together and battle for consensus to decide their country’s fate.
Codename: REMOTE sits the playing audience inside a system like an algorithm, and where you’re presented with an endless series of choices promising you influence over the system – raise your card for one option, if you do nothing it’s the other option. In a globalised culture which prizes the individual and an ideology of choice, we end up swarmed into mass aggregates of opinions where it’s irrelevant to be a minority, powered by technology which masks the consequences of ‘freedom of choice’. But perhaps you can find a way to play?
If you have an interest in making interactive/playing theatre, we’d love you to see these pieces, hear your thoughts in response, and join us in future conversation around this line of investigation.
Email email@example.com with subject INTERACTIVE to register your interest (and receive the discount code for Codename: REMOTE).