By Patrick Blenkarn and 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.
Tickets are pay-what-you-choose and start at $15.60 (Ontario minimum wage) and range up to $117.00 (7.5 hours x $15.60/hour).
How To Experience the Show
Audiences elect one player at a time to use the controller and play out their story differently. asses.masses has no set duration and it runs until the game is finished. The average play time is around 7.5 hours.
A light meal is included with your ticket, and drinks and snacks will be available for purchase through the evening. Please indicate dietary restrictions when you purchase tickets.
There will be multiple intermissions throughout asses.masses; one every two episodes. The audience will collectively decide how long each intermission lasts.
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. Recommended for ages 14+
Patrick Blenkarn — co-direction, text, programming, pixel art, 2D animation
Milton Lim — co-direction, text, sound design, video, shaders, 3D visual effects
Laurel Green — dramaturgy, text, touring producer
David Mesiha — original music, sound design
Clarissa Picolo — pixel art, 2D animation
William Roth — pixel art, 2D animation
Ariadne Sage — 3D environments
Samuel Reinhart — additional programming
Marcos Krivocapich — Spanish translation
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.