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 to 45 enact different narratives, live, in front of an audience of roughly the same age. 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 called The Terminator travels back from the year 2029 to the year 1984 to destroy a woman named Sarah Connor, in order to destroy her son John Connor, who hasn’t been born yet, but who will one day save the human race from machines. Other stories emerge from the landscape and the room: stories of hyper-strength and fatal forgetfulness; galactic love and worry. Of regret and shame. Of a most powerful bond.
These stories become the myths within a performance that unpacks one of the world’s most essential relationships — that of mother and son. Also including found material from news stories and our own personal relationships, MINE opens us up to expansive and strange new territories in 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. Presented in partnership with the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. 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.
Shadbolt Centre for the Arts
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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