A new work by Theatre Replacement about mothers and sons.
Using the computer construction game Minecraft as a kind of theatre, a group of gamer/performers between the ages of 10 and 45 enact different narratives, live, in front of an audience of roughly the same age. Inspired by the real-life relationship between Theatre Replacement’s Artistic Director, Maiko Yamamoto, and her 11-year-old son Hokuto and his obsession with Minecraft. MINE is recommended for ages 10 and up.
In a rocky and mountainous landscape, they tell the story of Grendel’s mother’s brutal act of revenge from the Beowulf saga. They travel to a clearing in the woods to reveal the brief but powerful lessons that Bambi’s mother taught him, before that horrible day in the meadow. Somewhere in a nearby city, a cyborg assassin travels back from the year 2029 to 1984 to destroy a woman named Sarah Connor and her son John Connor, who hasn’t been born yet, but who will one day save the human race from machines.
As the performance unfolds, personal stories begin to emerge from the landscape and weave themselves into the narratives: Grendel becomes a tweenage kid who just wants to stay in his room and play videogames, Bambi’s mother’s instinct to protect her son becomes a metaphor for a failed family trip to the Grand Canyon; The Terminator story evolves to reveal all the misplaced prophecies a mother places on her son. MINE opens us up to expansive and strange new territories in an intergenerational performance that both interrogates and recognizes the role technology plays in our modern parent-child relationships.
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 two years ago. This was prompted by my eldest son, Hokuto, who is 11 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 build 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 machines. He makes portals to other dimensions. 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 created and performed by Maiko Yamamoto and her son Hokuto MacDuff, Conor Wylie, Remy Siu (Hong Kong Exile) and a group of 3 local gamer/performers. Dramaturgy by Carmen Aguirre, costume and visual design by Leah Weinstein and lighting design by Jeff Harrison.
Co-produced by the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. Commissioned by artsdepot, Cambridge Junction and Future Arts Centres. Theatre Replacement acknowledges the assistance of the 2018 Banff Playwrights Lab — a partnership between the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity and the Canada Council for the Arts.
NOVEMBER 14-17, 2018
Shadbolt Centre for the Arts
MINE is not an official Minecraft product nor is it affiliated with Mojang.
For booking info, please contact email@example.com
Photos by Tim Matheson and Chris Randle
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