Tetris March 15-24
Arch8’s Tetris


The next show on the MTYP Mainstage is a physical theatre show inspired by the video game Tetris. Tetris leaps onto the Mainstage from March 15-24.

In Tetris, four performers fit, merge, stack, and combine in various feats. The show is about fitting into a group, but also staying true to yourself. It’s for the kids who can’t sit still, for the ones who like to climb the walls and for those who can imagine further than they can see.

We asked Tetris creator and choreographer Erik Kaiel how the show ended up fitting together perfectly.

Can you tell us about the moment you realized Tetris, the game, would make a fantastic show?
Like all great discoveries, we stumbled into it. When we started, we were just exploring acrobatically, with lots of clunky partnering – and my associative brain thought – hey, that looks like Tetris, what if we leaned into that idea? And then it really came to life. Simple things like Tetris can be a fantastic metaphor for life, that we want to fit in, but we also want to be our unique selves and accepted for who we are – the pendulum between those two needs is the human condition.
What’s a piece of audience feedback you’ve received about the show that you’ll never forget?
We were performing in an inner-city school in New York, and during the Q&A afterwards, an eight-year-old kid raised his hand, and asked if Tetris was a model for active democracy – where the people in the seats shifted from watching passively, to active interpretation and involvement. Because the audience is invited into this imagined world, and by the end, it belongs equally to them. Dumbfounded by his eloquence, I just said yes. and I still wonder sometimes who he is going to grow up to become…
How do you think Tetris, which highlights the importance of physical belonging & togetherness, works as a response to the last few years when physical touch has been discouraged?
Playfulness, physical belonging, and community are things that people took for granted pre-Covid. But they are essential to our physical and emotional well being. during the Coronavirus period, Tetris was in hibernation mode, but now, finally, we are overjoyed to be able to share it with a new generation of young audiences, who appreciate its warm and welcoming world even more, understanding that it is an antidote to isolation.
Erik Kaiel
What can patrons expect when it comes to audience interaction in the show?
I don’t want to give away the surprises in the show, but after 15 years touring six continents with the show, we know it works everywhere. And a key reason why is that we enthusiastically invite people to participate, but respect their wishes if they prefer not to. Theatre is a model of the world as it could be, and in our world, consent and compassion are important principles. as is building community by co-creating in the moment.
A family comes to see Tetris: what do you hope they’re talking about on the way home?
The thing that makes me happiest is when I overhear a family talking to each other about one of my shows, and they all found it funny and memorable, but each of them has a different opinion about what it was about. Not as an argument, but as a chance for each family member to express how they see the world. Families can more deeply understand each other by having new experiences and collectively reflecting about it afterwards. Tetris gets folks talking.

Tetris runs on the MTYP Mainstage from March 15-24. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the Box Office at 204-942-8898.