One of the most popular shows at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival was an interactive performance called ZED.TO ByoLogyc, staged as a launch party for a drug made by the fictional BioLogyc Corporation. Audience members cast as interns mingled with actors playing company officers and staff. By asking the actors questions and posting their findings on social media throughout the event, the audience collectively both discovered and contributed to the storyline: ByoLogyc’s actions precipitating the end of the world.
The people behind ZED.TO are a group of five former high school friends that includes University of Toronto grad David Fono (MSc 2005). They call themselves interactive producers, game creators and artists, and their goal is to create a theatrical event where the audience doesn’t merely watch, but, through awareness of each other’s reactions to the story in real time, has a truly collective experience.
The ZED.TO story isn’t over. You can follow updates online – via forums, Twitter feeds and even a graphic novel – as Fono and friends prep for two more story installments: one at Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s all-night art event on September 29, and a grand finale in November at a location to be determined.
“It’s going to be very immersive, very interactive,” says Fono. “And, I’m sure, unlike anything that’s happened in Toronto before.”
Follow the Zed.TO story online at zed.to or @ZEDtoronto.