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.
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