Imagine the life of your great-grandparents, about 120 years ago, around the turn of the 20th century. What would you tell them to avoid mistakes that are influencing our current environmental situation? Imagine the life of your great-grandchildren, in about 120 years from now, the year 2140. What do you think they will have to face with because of your decisions now?
In this interactive game we are planning to model some possible future outcomes based on our current environmental and economical processes. Our focus is on the increasingly worrying global water scarcity.
Imagine the lives behind those facts!
These facts are not from the future, but they sadly are part of our current times.
We are planning to divide the participants (audience members max 30) into three or four groups of experts in different fields like doctors, scientists, and environmentalists. Their task will be to find solutions to avoid global water scarcity in the future for our successors, who are played by our actors. They send messages, samples, questions, requests etc. to the specialists. (These theatrical scenes are planned to be partly interactive, improvised like in-game scenes in video games.) After the different experts have found solutions, they come together in a conference room to discuss their next steps and check the effect of their decisions through watching scenes from the future.
Apart from reinforcing our awarness of various enviromental issues, there will be some moral questions to be thought about. Can our good individual interests be put above the interest of a whole community? Can we stop the exploitation that has led to the climate catastrophe? There will be a lot of things to think about!
The location indicates an apocalyptic landscape, the combination of a real setting and some technical tools like VR or AR.
Production timeline: April 2021 – May 2021
Project manager, director | György Vidovszky
Author | Attila Eck
Game developer, virtual reality expert | Csaba Királyházi
Consultant | Eszter Gyevi-Bíró
The author, Imre Madách, was born on January 21, 1823. Interestingly, his bailiff at his property in Alsósztregova (Dolná Strehová, now situated in Slovakia) was our director’s maternal ancestor. Madách wrote his main work, The Tragedy of Man, in 1859-1860. Since then, it has already been translated into almost all European languages. It was first published in 1861. The play is considered to be one of the major works of Hungarian literature and is one of the most often staged Hungarian plays today. Its’ interpretation became a cornerstone of the history of Hungarian literature and theatre.
The main characters are Adam, Eve and Lucifer. As God creates the universe, Lucifer decries it as futile, stating that man will soon aspire to be gods and demanding their own right of the world, because God was forced to create with then, „the ancient spirit of denial“. God casts him out of Heaven, but grants his wish: the two cursed trees in Eden, the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Immortality. Playing on Eve’s vanity and Adam’s pride, Lucifer tempts both into sin. After the Fall and expulsion from Eden, Adam is still too proud to admit that he acted wrongly. Instead, he recounts his dreams of human progress and achievement; he feels that now, unencumbered by God’s rules, he is ready to pursue his own glory. Lucifer puts Adam to sleep, and the two begin to travel through history.
PlayOn! inspired us to take out this classic drama and find innovations in form and content that would open the door to a broader, contemporary interpretation. We will offer several examples of interactivity for our audience. The first two and the last three scene – the author divided his work into 15 biblical, historical and fictional scene – will take place in the foyer of the theatre, in the virtual and physical vicinity of the audience. The protagonists will perform among them, and return to them by the end of their scene. Scenes will be seen on camera for the part of the audience sitting in the auditorium, and by person by the audience in the foyer. (Due to the current pandemic situation, we feel essential to split the audience and let them choose the preferred venue.)
Our audience will meet to stages by entering the auditorium. The main stage is going to be used traditionally, while the smaller stage – situated in the last rows of the auditorium – is where the group’s prose actors and puppeteers will play, addressing both the audience and the protagonists on the main stage. This spatial theatre solution creates new relationship between audience and artists. The players on the smaller stage will be continuously captured by a camera. Therefore, they will be projected in the background of the main stage throughout the performance.
The author imagined Adam, the Man, as someone getting older and older in every scene. The play will visualize this aging with different actors, representing 11 consecutive age. (Lucifer, however, will be portrayed by our dramaturge.) During the role changes – also by the help of theatrical masks – 3D effects will help the better understanding and reception.
Our goal is to re-interpret the work – which is a reading assignment for students in every Hungarian school – by using gaming elements, and so to create a fresh, comprehensible youth production which young people acknowledge.
Director | János Novák
Set, costume, puppets | Klaudia Orosz
Dramaturge | Péter Horváth
Digital effects, gaming elements | Ivó Kovács
Choreography | János Lakatos
Music | János Novák