Theatre Replacement is currently developing a new work, titled MINE. Using the computer construction game Minecraft as a kind of theatre, the piece uses fictional, biographical and culturally specific narratives to examine the nature of mother/son relationships, from Grendel’s mother’s revenge in Beowulf; power mom Sarah Connor from The Terminator franchise and her fight to protect her son (and all of humanity); Bambi and his mom; the tragedy of Oedipus — as well as found stories of mothers and sons, including news stories and our own personal material. Performing these narratives using Minecraft has opened us up to expansive and strange territories, exposing the potential of how playing the game can create a multi-generational, live performance.
The creation of MINE is led by T/R artistic director Maiko Yamamoto. Here’s what she says about some of the impetus behind the work:
I started playing Minecraft about a year and a half ago. This was prompted by my eldest son, Hokuto, who is 10 years old and a self-proclaimed ‘gamer.’ I am 45 years old, and despite the fear I might have about how obsessed my child is with video games, playing Minecraft with him has been a revelation. The worlds we create together offer an alternative in which I am still the parent, but the social relations between us are vastly different. We still love and care for each other, but our dynamic is flipped somehow, as his abilities in the game are better, faster and deeper than my own. While I struggle to build a single room shelter — block by block — he puts up hotels and empires. He uses redstone to build levers and portals. He tells me when it’s time to go to sleep. He makes potions that help me to see in the dark. He changes my ‘skins’ for me.
And yet, he’ll still ask if it’s ok to get a dog before he ‘tames’ one. He’ll still put his bed beside mine. In the world of the game, he is still mine and I am still his Mom, but we are also just two players, tinkering away and discovering things as we go.
MINE is built with core collaborators Conor Wylie (T/R’s former Artist in Residence) and Remy Siu of Hong Kong Exile and a group of 5 kid gamer/performers between the ages of 10 and 14. A co-production with the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, further development will take place throughout 2017/18, with a presentation of the work in the Fall of 2018.
MINE is not an official Minecraft product nor is it affiliated with Mojang.
For more information on the project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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