ZED.TO is an immersive narrative experience that simulates the end of the world, and encourages participants to engage with the story through various media. These include original online content, pervasive live interactions, and performance events linked to major arts festivals across Toronto and 2012.
It's an attempt to truly capitalize on the promise of interactive entertainment, and to make theatre more relevant in the age of digital media. It's being produced by The Mission Business, a cross-disciplinary team of theatre makers, game makers, strategists, digital creatives, and artists.
In our end of the world scenario, we are drawing upon a number of real world trends including the increasing likelihood of a deadly pandemic, the rise of machine psychology, and the biotech revolution. By charting the rise and fall of ByoLogyc, a fictional biotech corporation, ZED.TO is an investigation into the hubris of mankind in its hurry to innovate and improve itself — regardless of the price.
When you become a part of ZED.TO, you'll become a part of ByoLogyc - working from inside the corporation to support some of the biggest and most groundbreaking biotech breakthroughs of the 21st century. But at what cost will these innovations come?
The heart of ZED.TO is a series of theatrical events:
[ZED.TO] ByoLogyc: Where You Become New
July 4 - 15, 2012 (Toronto Fringe Festival)
A multi-threaded narrative adventure set during the launch party for ByoLogyc’s latest and greatest lifestyle enhancement innovation. Participants are transformed into interns and are assigned to one of 10 different departments inside the company, each one offering a unique look at the celebrations – and the conflicts within the organization. This event will be a part of the 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival.
[ZED.TO] Patient Zero
September 29, 2012 (Nuit Blanche)
An interactive site-specific installation during Nuit Blanche 2012 that mirrors the conditions of real world pandemic and quarantine procedures. Revealing the fatal flaws in ByoLogyc’s miracle product and their vision of the future, this event will ‘process’ over 1,500 participants throughout the night, giving them a unique look at the incidents leading up to the final cataclysm as well as a choice in how they will be personally involved in it.
[ZED.TO] End Game
October 15 - November 5, 2012
The centrepiece of our narrative, a large-scale and highly interactive 2-hour event set at a site just north of downtown Toronto. The experience will begin the moment participants begin the guided tours delivering them to their destination. They will explore multiple narrative threads through in-person interactions, moral and personal choices that affect the story in real time, large-scale spectacle, and (of course) the end of the world as we know it.
Online and Pervasive Content
Beyond these events, the ZED.TO world will be enriched and made accessible to those outside Toronto through interactive content spread across websites and social media. We will use these channels to expand the story, chart the trajectory of ByoLogyc’s downfall, and give audiences a new point of entry into the ZED.TO universe. This content has already begun rolling out, and it will reach full speed in July, coinciding with our first live event.
On top of the online stuff, we'll have a number of small-scale, real-world activities and missions that will allow Toronto-based participants to deepen their involvement in the story on a personal level.
This is an ambitious endeavour, and our $20,000 IndieGoGo goal is just the beginning of the fundraising work ahead.
In addition to the costs of creating rich and abundant online content and executing adventurous in-person interactions, our largest expenses involve securing venues for our large-scale and immersive live events. This campaign will allow us to conquer the first and largest of our financial hurdles - a deposit and down-payment for the site at which our October 2012 event will unfold, just north of Toronto.
If you are as excited as we are to see new kinds of artistic work in Toronto, we hope that you will support us today!
ZED.TO is an attempt to make theatre more relevant in the age of digital media. We want to use the tools of interaction and immersion to turn audiences into participants, and bring them into the story.
Immersive theatre has been around for years, but we feel that particularly in Toronto, its potential has not been fully realized. Unlike most other immersive productions, ZED.TO lets you have influence on the story. You'll have the ability to make moral decisions that affect the story and events in real-time. Read this post on our blog for a more thorough discussion of our motivations.
Don't stop now!
You can jump into our story world right now! Visit ByoLogyc.com to get started.
Over the coming months, we'll be ramping up the online & pervasive content, giving participants a chance to get deeply involved, prior to the first live event.
Elenna Mosoff @elennamosoff
Director, programmer, social entrepreneur. Associate Producer at Acting Up Stage Company, MFA in directing from Ohio University. Trevor Haldenby @trevver
Futurist, interactive strategist, photographer. Producer for Habbo Hotel and Earth Rangers, creator of the award-winning installation Painting The Myth
. CFC Media Lab, MDes Strategic Foresight + Innovation at OCAD University. Martha Haldenby @haldenberry
Arts administrator, fundraiser, performing artist. Programming Associate & Assistant to the Artistic Director for the Luminato Festival.David Fono @fonograph
Award-winning game designer, online developer. Co-founder of Atmosphere Industries. MSc, University of Toronto. Byron Laviolette @byronist
Director, dramaturg, critic. Co-creator of Morro & Jasp. Currently completing a PhD at York University in Theatre Criticism. Writing has appeared in AdBusters, Scene Changes, Eye Weekly and In Toronto magazine.
ZED.TO is a huge effort, and we couldn't even think about doing with lots of help from talented collaborators!
Patrick Stolk-Ramaker (Graphic Designer)
Airick Woodhead of Doldrums (Musician)
Jennifer Corelli (Publicist)
Shane Hollon (Writer)
Edna Snyder of Kidstreet (Musician)
Andrew Moyes (Actor)