Asterion is a theatrical experience in which the main character is you, the participant.

Based on a concept by R. Murray Schafer, Asterion is the 7th part of the Patria Cycle. The Patria Cycle is predicated on a profound recognition of the need for people to re-establish a connection with the world around us and many of the works are written for performance in natural environments, such as The Enchanted Forest, which is staged in a remote forest and The Princess of the Stars, which is intended for performance on a wilderness lake at dawn.

Asterion is the only part of the cycle that has not yet been produced. Because Asterion is based on a dynamic audience-performer relationship and an innovative rethinking of theatrical space, it has the potential to be the most ground-breaking work of the Patria cycle.

Asterion is a complex series of events in the form of a labyrinth, through which an individual experiences self-discovery that transcends both the restrictions of traditional forms of art and the expectations of the traveller. It is part fun house and part game, part quest and part contemplation.

It is rare in drama when an artefact figures more prominently than the leading character of the story, but such is the case with the labyrinth that is Asterion. It is a story told not only in words but also sensually, through images, sounds, tastes, touches, and textures. It is part museum, part fairground, part gallery and part concert.

go to an overview of the Patria works

Like Daedalus’ labyrinth built at Knossos in Crete to contain the Minotaur, this labyrinth is not merely the scenery to the drama, it is the drama. All ancient accounts agreed that anyone entering the labyrinth would never return. Either they would become lost among the endlessly forking paths, or they would be devoured by the Minotaur who prowled there.

If the heroic myth of ancient Crete were able to fire the modern imagination, the execution of such a work would require a space quite unlike the traditional theatre. The journey through this labyrinth must be experienced alone. The characters that inhabit the labyrinth are archetypes, symbols of the psyche drawn from both the light and dark sides of our nature and presented for inspection in order that we might know ourselves better.

While Asterion is being developed, its construction is being used as a workshop where participants from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines can collaborate with each other and with the public. Its multidisciplinary creators include gardeners and landscape architects, builders and sculptors, and designers of all kinds.

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Jan 2012