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The elusive Tassos Stevens – member of a secret society

June 9, 2010

Tassos Stevens is debating the question – do we need a new relationship between theatre and the public?  at the conference AND participating in the session on 21st century storytelling.  A member of Coney, he is based somewhere in England I think, but most of the time he seems to be somwhere else in another time zone. I caught up with him last night and asked him: 

You are always on the road, New Zealand, Brooklyn – what makes your work so internationally desirable?

I have been on the road this year, New Zealand to do some digital strategy consultancy for the British Council, after going to Tokyo for the Connected showcase a few months prior. and Austin, Texas for SXSWi. In Tokyo, I and others in Coney remotely assisting made a very simple little adventure out of the event of giving a presentation (you can see it here from 2’30”), made very quickly and responsively. Brooklyn was the festival Come Out & Play; I wasn’t actually there but helping run a street game called Counter/Demo remotely from London with some others in Coney, some who are based in NYC, who did their own game Necropolis that we in London helped with.

If there is anything that makes the work attractive internationally, it’s because it’s responsive to the people and the place, and resourceful with whatever comes to hand – it’s a good guest and can travel light.

Do participants/players ever get lost in the game?

Sometimes. Sometimes so lost they end up in Coney itself, many of our best players get recruited. Three of the core entered that way, myself included. Coney itself plays like a game of secret society, we have codenames. I am not saying mine here.

Where in the world would you most like to make a piece and where would you say no to?

Good question… There’s a conversation brewing in New Zealand that I am really excited about. Or a secret place very near where I live. As for no, there’s no specific location – anywhere is interesting if you look at it the right way – but rather if the terms of engagement for us or for players meant the work would miss any of our key principles: adventure, loveliness, reciprocity.

Some work by Coney, last month, this month, next month…
The Haringey Challenge Match, a game for young people in a local authority helping them design their own services
Necropolis Family Tree & Counter/Demo, games in Come Out & Play in Brooklyn.
Moore Outside, audio walks and an adventure about the Henry Moore Exhibition for Tate Britain.
The Loveliness Principle, an adventure exploring exactly that, in BAC’s One-on-One Festival.
The Changing Room, an auto-memory-theatre, in BAC’s One-on-One Festival.
A Cat Escapes, second-phase pilot of an Adventure in Learning, in primary schools in Wandsworth in a co-production with BAC.
SuperMe, a digital project on resilience for teenagers, for C4 Education collaborating with lead agency Somethin Else and games agency Preloaded.
Art Heist, R&D funded by Arts Council England with New Art Gallery Walsall
And some more we can’t talk about just yet…

And me for Coney

Papa Sangre, a 4IP commission, an iPhone game in audio only, collaborating with Somethin Else

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