PHOTO CREDIT: Francisco Castro Pizzo
MAIN STAGE INTERACTIVE VIDEO GAME
PATRICK BLENKARN + MILTON LIM
Donkeys, labour, technophobia, and sharing the load of revolution: asses.masses is a 7+ hour video game designed to be played from beginning to end by a live audience.
Told across 10 episodes and a wide range of game forms, the show follows the epic journey of unemployed asses as they navigate the perils of a post-Industrial society in which they’ve been made redundant.
In this one-night-only event brave spectators take turns stepping forward from the herd (audience) to seize the means of production (controller) and become the player. There are no instructions. It is up to the audience and their self-elected leaders to work together to play out their version of the story.
Cheeky, political, and best described as Animal Farm meets Aesop’s Fables retold by Franz Kafka, Karl Marx, and Sonic the Hedgehog, asses.masses puts the control(ler) in its audience’s hands and asks them to discover the space between the work that defines us and the play that frees us.
asses.masses is an experience with no set runtime, and may take anywhere between 6 and 9 hours to complete. Intermissions occur every two episodes.
Contains coarse language, representations of donkeys mating, loud music, flashing lights, audience participation, and strong revolutionary rhetoric. Participation and active spectatorship is a central part of asses.masses. We invite you to be part of our Herd in any way you can.
We believe that theatre is for everyone, and try to offer affordable options to make sure there are no financial barriers in the way of anyone coming out to see a show.
If you are able to afford the full price, we encourage you to do so. If price is still a barrier, please reach out to Kat@EasternFrontTheatre.com
Volunteers see the show for free!
Sign up to volunteer here.
PATRICK BLENKARN + MILTON LIM
British Columbia / the traditional, unceded, and occupied territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Patrick Blenkarn (he/him) is an artist working at the intersection of performance, game design, and visual art. His research-based practice revolves around the themes of language, labour, and economy, with projects ranging in form from video games and card games to stage plays and books. He is passionate about working within international contexts, with recent artistic projects and collaborations taking him as far north as Svalbard and as far south as Buenos Aires.
Milton Lim (he/him) is an interdisciplinary artist whose research-based practice entwines publicly available data, interactive digital media, and gameful performance to create speculative visions and candid articulations of social capital. His work has been presented across Canada, and internationally in the US, Argentina, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia. He is an Artistic Associate with Theatre Conspiracy, Co-Artistic Director of Hong Kong Exile, member of an AI-focussed collective called Synectic Assembly, and Artistic-Leader-in-Residence with Canada's National Theatre School.
Together, Milton and Patrick are the creators of the video game for the stage, asses.masses and the arts economy trading card game, culturecapital. They are also the co-founders and lead archivists behind videocan, an online national video archive of Canadian performance.
Concept and direction - Patrick Blenkarn, Milton Lim
Dramaturgy - Laurel Green
Sound + original music - David Mesiha
Additional pixel art - William Roth, Clarissa Picolo
3D environments - Ariadne Sage
Additional programming - Sam Reinhart
The asses.masses team wants to thank the organizations who have supported the work over its development, including: Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, The Theatre Centre, BC Arts Council, Creative BC, Canada Council for the Arts, VIVO Media Arts, the Embassy of Canada to Argentina and Paraguay, and the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund.
Accessible Ticket Pricing: This performance has pay-what-you-can-afford pricing. If cost is still a barrier, please email Kat@EasternFrontTheatre.com.
COVID: Masks are available on site and encouraged/appreciated but not required. Event is general admission and social distancing may not be possible.
Transit Access: The Halifax Transit Dartmouth Ferry arrives directly at Alderney Landing, and Alderney Gate is serviced by Halifax Transit buses #5, 6+, 53, 54, 55, 62, 158, 159, 161, 165.
Physical Access: The Theatre is on the second level of Alderney Landing, accessible by passenger elevator and stairs. Parking is available onsite, with curbside dropoff and automatic doors at the main entrance to the building. Alderney Landing is connected to Alderney Gate by pedway, accessible by elevator, escalator and stairs.
Stadium Seating: Fixed stadium seats fold down and are 16.5 inches deep and 20 inches wide from the inside of each (shared) armrest. Front row seating is on the same level as the entrance and can be reserved in advance by emailing info@EasternFrontTheatre.com. There are stairs leading to the rest of the rows, 7 inches high and 17 inches deep. There is no handrail. Armless chairs are available upon request and will be placed in the front row, they are 16 inches deep and 15.5 inches wide. For assistance, or to request priority seating before the house is opened, please check in with EFT Staff or Volunteers.
Bathrooms: There are two all gender bathrooms in the rotunda lobby, one with toilet stalls only, and one with toilet stalls and urinals. Both bathrooms are equipped with various hygiene products.
Environmental Sensitivities: We aim to provide a scent-free environment, and make every effort to use products that are scent-free where possible (including alcohol-based hand sanitizer). We encourage all patrons to be mindful of the effects of strong scents, and ask that patrons avoid wearing or using scented personal products while onsite.
If you have any questions about the accessibility measures in place, please email Accessibility Coordinator, Sara at SGrahamAccessibility@gmail.com.