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A Winter's Night Dream

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." (Oscar Wilde

Witzenburg is a peaceful mountain village. A little town with its inner dynamics, romances, hatreds among its inhabitants, the humble everyday work, and the gossip of a closed community. Into the village, sanctimonious and set in its ways, comes a group of strangers, the Extraordinary Errant Company of Balthasar Lunenciel, who will perform to celebrate the beginning of spring and will change the balance, bringing together with entertainment novelty and exoticness.

Dream…” was first attempted as a experiment for Terre Spezzate’s team to go out of its traditional frame: besides not being in a fantasy setting, it was a larp with almost no weapons or fights, meant to be farcical with the complicity of the players to indulge in tricks and jokes. We also gave a lot of narrative space to the art, and some of the players gave birth to real performances, from singing to juggling.

The setting was a evocative alpine village that helped the players to dive into the fairy-tale atmosphere of a nineteenth century town turned upside down by the arrival of an artists’ company after which, like in “Babette’s Feast”, nothing can ever be the same.

This dive into romance and the farcical was much appreciated by the participants, and has been played with great passion. Here is a review written by a new player, and the comments of the players on Facebook (in Italian). 

Where: Villaggio delle stelle mountain resort in Lusernetta (Italy, province of Turin)
When: 1 - 2 march 2014
Participants: 66 (10 of which hadn't played with Terre Spezzate before)
Setting: 19th century, farce
Structure:  one-shot, in four acts (each lasting roughly 3-and-a-half hours ); there was no play at night but the sleeping rooms were in-game
Games system: WYSIWYG, with safeword-regulated, naturalistic interaction; in-game codes (tastes, colours) without extradiegetic keywords; comedic use of stage scuffling and blank guns
Techniques: pre-written characters, introductory workshops, realistic set design, SFX (smoke, sound, pyrotechnics), in-game artistic performances (juggling, singing, dancing...)
Pictures: here a gallery 

If at “The Fortress…”, our previous event, we had some new collaborators in the team, here the new creators numbered 4 out of 10 (read the credits), firmly putting aside the idea of a permanent staff which is typical of an ongoing campaign with secrets and continuity: from this point on we put together a task-team for each new project, publicly recruited from the wide larping community.