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In Performance

In Performance: Coney’s Adventure 1 at the Sprint Festival (London)

Adventure 1

Thought-provoking and just provoking in general, Coney has crafted a participatory adventure with real world implications. Adventure 1 begins the week before the date on your ticket, when an associate named Josh Smith contacts you to help you wrap your mind around what you are about to do. Though disclosing too much information here would spoil the fun, I can tell you that the adventure involves following one of the financial district’s worker bees. But players are advised to take care to maintain their cover, so that “no one who is not playing can tell we’re playing.”

More than just fun cloak-and-dagger antics, the work itself takes concrete steps to get its participants to consider the world outside the field of play. In fact, the extent to which the game is even a game is debatable. During the show, associate Fiona Hannon advises, “all our actions still count the same.” Participants are expected to make choices about their path, draw their own conclusions, and take responsibility for their actions. By the end, you may think differently of places and landmarks you’ve seen a hundred times before.

Advanced (or at least intermediate) smartphone skills are required, as the tasks involve listening to audio tracks, responding to texts, navigating maps, and so on. Also imperative is a willingness to examine your understanding of the financial system and your relationship to it.

If this taste of adventure leave you hungry for more, you’re in luck. This is the first of a planned series in Coney’s Tail of Two Cities project about the financial system and the city. If you’re too impatient to wait for a series, don’t despair. At the end of your adventure, you’re presented with a clue that just might lead you further down the rabbit hole.

Adventure 1 continues as part of the Sprint Festival during select weekends in March.

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Adventure 1 is co­written by William Drew and Tassos Stevens and co­devised with Dan Ford

Actors: Al Barclay, Dan Ford, and Michelle McMahon

Phone platform programmed by Charlie Clarke, with Tassos Stevens

Sound Design by Chris Branch

Directed by Tassos Stevens

Produced by Rosalind Wynn

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Margo Gray is a performance maker and curator based in Minneapolis. Her practice centers around interactive and participatory performance, Current research includes emerging techniques in interactive theatre and performance-adjacent disciplines such as alternate reality gaming (ARGs) and Nordic live-action role-playing. She is currently the Producing Artistic Director of Playable Artworks (a sponsored project of Springboard for the Arts), a Twin Cities-based performance engine. Margo is a former Fulbright Fellow at the Moscow Art Theatre School. She holds a BA in Russian from Grinnell College and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. For more information, visit margogray.com and playableartworks.org.

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