Theatre Replacement is exploring mothers and sons through the lens of Minecraft.
MINE, the theatre company’s new production, is onstage at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts Nov. 17 through 20.
Using the computer construction game Minecraft as a kind of theatre, a group of gamer-performers from ages 10 to 45 enact different narratives live.
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 narrative,” a press release notes. “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 – it’s a lot of pressure, and Mom worries way too much.”
The press release notes that the stories mingle and mash up as MINE both interrogates and recognizes the role technology plays in modern parent-child relationships.
MINE is created and performed by Maiko Yamamoto and her son Hokuto MacDuff, with Conor Wylie, Remy Siu and a group of four local gamer-performers aged 10 to 14.
Dramaturgy is by Carmen Aguirre and design by Leah Weinstein.
(The company also notes that MINE is not an official Minecraft product, nor is it affiliated with Mojang.)
Showtimes are 8 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $36, available through tickets.shadboltcentre.com or 604-205-3000.