Rimini Protokoll: Best Before 
Jan. 29 to Feb. 6, 2010
Conspirators Carlson and Foy collaborate with Berlin-based theatremakers
The video game gets rewired for the live stage in Rimini Protokoll’s Best Before, which ran at the Cultch as part of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and the Cultural Olympiad from Jan. 29 to Feb. 6, 2010.
Conspiracy’s artistic producer Tim Carlson and artistic associate James Foy collaborated with the Berlin-based theatre company as dramaturge and technical director for over a year. The show toured to cities in the U.S., Canada and Europe throughout 2010.
Rimini Protokoll is one of Europe’s most acclaimed contemporary companies, practicing a singular flavour of documentary theatre that’s grounded in the character of a given city and in the experiences of experts from various walks of life who serve as the performers. The company has created over 20 works over the past dozen years in cities all over Europe as well as India and Argentina.
In Best Before, each audience member has a gaming controller in hand, manipulating their avatar on screen and interacting with the performers. The concept grew out of Rimini’s interest in Vancouver’s video game industry and how the conventions and structures of games can be adapted for live performance — giving the audience a unique interface with the action on stage.
Tim Carlson spent a month in Europe, seeing Rimini Protokoll rehearsals and performances in Zurich, Berlin, Dresden and Munich, and preparing for the Vancouver show, as part of a professional development project supported by Canada Council and BCAC. As well as working on script development in creative sessions, he lead the project in terms of casting and research.
James Foy coordinated the show’s many technical demands with game designer Brady Marks, lighting designer John Webber, set designer Andreas Kahre, composer Stefan Smulovitz, and directors Helgard Haug and Stefan Kaegi. The tour expanded his work exponentially as the game systemwas adapted for very different theatres in each city.
For more on Rimini Protokoll and Best Before:
Photo: Milan Radovanovic