About this project
We are a team of young theatre makers bringing Game Theory, a double-bill of one-act plays about two contemporary and controversial issues of medical science, to the stage for the first time - and we need your help!
WHAT IS GAME THEORY ALL ABOUT?
In the first play, Membrane, a British-Arab woman visits a cosmetic surgeon requesting hymen reconstruction ahead of her wedding, while the second play Mutiny shows a young couple grappling with whether or not to have their newborn son’s genome sequenced.
We think that by looking at hymenoplasty and genomic sequencing through the prism of people's choices, bodies and relationships, Game Theory has the potential to raise the profile of these two important medical procedures by making them understandable and relatable to all.
The production will run at Tristan Bates Theatre in London’s Covent Garden from 31 March to 18 April.
WHY IS THEATRE A SPACE TO DEBATE CONTEMPORARY ISSUES?
We believe that the live and collaborative nature of theatre makes it the perfect place to encounter and discuss what is happening in our society. That is why we are programming a series of post-show debates and discussions to allow audiences to hear from experts, share their own views and better understand the ideas behind Game Theory.
Staging the Facts: Science in Performance - in partnership with Exeunt Magazine
Our first post-show discussion will be on the ethics and responsibilities of depicting science on stage, chaired by Exeunt's Mary Halton. Panellists include Game Theory writer Odessa Celt, co-artistic director of Analogue Theatre Hannah Barker and Artistic Director of LAStheatre Barra Collins and LAStheatre collaborator and Lecturer in Biochemical Engineering at UCL, Dr Tarit Mukhopadhyay.
Game Theory Cast and Creative Team Q&A
Your chance to grill writer Odessa Celt, director Lois Jeary the cast of Membrane and Mutiny Andrew Pugsley, Nadia Shash and Georgina Blackledge after the performance.
British-Arab Culture: What does it look like today? Panelists Malu Halasa (journalist and author of The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie: Intimacy and Design), award-winning London-based Lebanese performer and storyteller Alia Alzougbi, and Artistic Director of Shubbak Festival Eckhard Thiemann come together for a discussion of the presence, profile and impact of the contemporary British-Arab cultural scene. Chaired by Ruba Asfahani of Modern Art Oxford.
Tuesday 14th April
Hymenoplasty: Panel discussion and Q&AA discussion of the cultural complexities and implications of hymen repair surgery, with Shereen El Feki, writer-activist and author of Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World (2013), Dr Anke Bernau, author of Virgins: A Cultural History (2007) and Professor of Medieval Literature and Culture at University of Manchester, and Mr Nick Morris, gynaecologist and plastic surgeon. Chaired by BBC health and science correspondent Smitha Mundasad.
Thursday 16th April
Genomic Sequencing: Panel discussion and Q&A Dr Dan O'Connor, Head of Humanities and Social Science at the Wellcome Trust, discusses genomic sequencing and the ethics surrounding it with Yulia Kovas, Professor of Genetics and Psychology at Goldsmiths University; Fatos Selita, barrister and Chair of the Council on Ethical, Societal and Legal Implications of Genetic Research in Psychology and Education at Tomsk State University; and Clare Williams, Professor of Medical Sociology at Brunel University.
Post-show events are free to ticketholders of the evening's performance. To book visit Tristan Bates Theatre.
WHO ARE WE?
Game Theory's writer Odessa Celt and director Lois Jeary have been collaborating on these plays since 2013. They first met whilst studying for their MA in Text and Performance at RADA and Birkbeck, and were united by a shared commitment to exploring strong, complex and relatable female characters on stage. Prior to this production they presented Membrane at the 2013 Lost Theatre One Act Festival and staged a rehearsed reading of Game Theory at The Hope Theatre. The play was also shortlisted for Bristol Tobacco Factory‘s ScriptSpace development programme.
Odessa and Lois are thrilled to be working with designer Fi Russell on this production and have found her ideas and vision have helped them to appreciate and understand the plays in a new light.
Working to make sure the productions are a success in every possible way are Game Theory's producer Jamie Hannon and associate producer Miriam Sherwood.
Currently rehearsing to bring these characters to life in performance are our wonderful cast: Andrew Pugsley, Nadia Shash and Georgina Blackledge.
HOW WILL WE USE THE MONEY?
We believe that the arts are a valuable part of society and that the people who work tirelessly to create them - in this case the actors and creative team - should be paid for the work they do. Yet with no financial backing, and the high costs of rehearsing and staging theatre in London, the resources we have are extremely limited. This crowdfunding campaign will help us to supplement the fee we are already paying our cast to make us better able to pay them national minimum wage for their work on the production. Put simply: your support will be of direct benefit to the artists currently working to make Game Theory a success.
Your donation can also help us to deliver:
A top quality design
Designing a flexible set that will work for both plays and successfully communicate two different locations presents a number of challenges! Our designer Fi Russell has taken inspiration from a range of medical environments to create a dynamic set design, and your donation will help to source the materials, props and furniture that will bring those locations to life.
The model box design (Designer: Fi Russell)
An effective way of reaching new audiences
Tristan Bates Theatre have been very supportive of Game Theory and generous in helping us with marketing and promotion. With your help we can add to that and really make an impact on the theatre scene. We want to make sure that the people who will be most interested in the themes of these plays know about them, come and watch them and then stay for the discussions that follow - spreading the word about this production and campaign can help us achieve that!
WHAT CAN WE OFFER YOU IN RETURN?
To show you how grateful we are for your support we are offering opportunities to get exclusive insights into the rehearsal room and process, mementos from the company and production, and invitations to be our guest on the opening night or during the run. We hope that by supporting Game Theory you can feel that you have shared in our passion for this theatre project, interest in these topics and plays and love for creating theatre.
Even if you are not able to donate to this campaign please book a ticket to come and watch Game Theory at Tristan Bates Theatre: every ticket bought will help us to meet our production costs!