Studio Trafique | WEHR51: “FULLDEMO.CRACY”
STUDIO TRAFIQUE (SIR GABRIEL DELLMANN E.V.) | WEHR51 E.V.
Duration: October 2022 to December 2023
FULLDEMO.cracy is a realistic live theater game with escape room character.
The multiplayer live setting allows the audience to become actors in the story and experience the achievements and challenges of democratic processes at first hand. The action centers around the fundamental questions: What form of democracy do we want to live in and how can we actively shape it?
2023: A previously unknown group has occupied several of the parliament buildings of the city. To date, it is not fully clear what their intentions are.
Who are these self-proclaimed “democrats”? Until it has been verified whether the perpetrators are armed and what their goals are, special task forces and counter-terrorism units are on standby. For now, there will be no intervention to prevent an escalation.
Is this an attack on the status quo or a necessary revolution in politics and society? And who are the minds behind this supposedly decentralised movement?
“Welcome, player. We need your help. Consider all your decisions: The future of humanity could depend on you. The clock is ticking from now on.”
BACKGROUND Crude conspiracy theories and a global shift to the political right are holding each other’s feet to the fire. “Volksstürme” on parliaments of democratically organized constitutional states are a frightening “fad” not only in Brazil, the USA and Germany. Trafique react to these threatening scenarios with an artistic echo room that is designed on an interdisciplinary basis: The production FULLDEMO.cracy is being created by a team of artists, media designers and programmers in order to extend the performative design space with the latest digital and narrative methods.
FORM The players are divided into two teams that play with and against each other in separate locations. They are accompanied by two actors who contribute storytelling elements on the one hand and can control the course of the game as game masters on the other.
A local server gives the players access to the web interface created especially for the play, which becomes a central location for the live game theater. Light / sound and various interactive elements in the room (e.g. buttons and motors) react directly to the gameplay and thus to the actions of the players.
The premiere took place on December 6, 2023.
March 6, 7, 8 and 9, 2024 | 8 p.m.
LOCATION: Studio Trafique, Merheimer Straße 2
Studio Trafique – Institute for the design of theatrical visions of the future is a theater founded in Cologne in 2021 that focuses on contemporary aesthetics. The focus is on developing new forms of theater by combining familiar theatrical aesthetics with film and digital technologies. Studio Trafique is run by Ensemble Trafique with the artistic management team consisting of Anna Marienfeld and Björn Gabriel.
Studio Trafique was awarded the Kölner Kulturpreis für Junge Initiativen in 2022 for its initiative in the digitalisation of the performing arts. Over the past ten years, they have created a diverse program of various productions and have continuously developed further – always in search of appropriate manifestations for their contemporary content. In doing so, they overcome superficial genre boundaries.
Using digital and filmic elements, they extend the conventional representation and impact spaces of performing arts. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Trafique has developed the pioneering format of hybrid live-film theater, in which live character is always the main element: with live direction, live video editing and live sound engineering, every medium always refers to the theatrical situation and creates new experiences for the audience.
WEHR51 (under the artistic direction of Andrea Bleikamp and Rosi Ulrich) focuses on the realization of its own concepts and theater texts, which are dedicated to current and socio-politically relevant topics. This is linked to the search for new dramaturgical approaches that lead to unusual performance venues and include immersive art forms. In the artistic debate, the content determines the form. The initial idea and theme define the dramaturgical approach, in which the tools of acting, dance, music, video and others are equally combined and expanded. The result is a diverse program of ‘hybrid’ productions.
WEHR51 sees the audience as part of the production. The aim is not to force the audience to participate or to lecture them, but rather to sensually warm people up, to question the themes and to rethink them.
The project is also funded by the Cultural Office of the City of Cologne, the NRW Kultursekretariat Wuppertal and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW.
Image: ©Tobias Weikamp