‘Red Center’‘ is a larp for women made by women. It is about oppression. Inspired by ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ the larp is set at the Red Center, a place where normal women are turned into handmaids. The handmaids, in Gilead society, are fertile women who are forced into breeding children with a select few men in power.
Gilead is a strict, totalitarian regime that bases its laws and customs around a very literal, fundamentalist interpretation of the Christian Bible, in particular the Old Testament. Hence, much of their teachings and legislations are influenced by their own rigid interpretation of scripture.
The law is absolute in Gilead. Any rule-breaking or subversion must be reported and is harshly punished. Criminals are often executed and their bodies displayed as a warning; the Eyes also use torture and other brutal interrogation tactics on their prisoners.
All citizens must follow Gilead’s own official version of Christianity. No other religion or belief system is tolerated; as Gilead rose to power, those of other faiths were forced to convert by torture, threat of imprisonment, or death.
Gilead has a strict class system and hierarchy. Everyone is assigned to a particular class and expected to fulfill certain roles. Gilead is a patriarchal society where only men have access to education and hold political positions; women are regarded as second-class citizens that cannot hold property or be employed, and thus must submit to the authority of men.
The larp takes place a few weeks after Gilead comes to power. As such, there will be a clash between the women who are used to life in the year 2018 and the new rules that will govern them.
The Rachel and Leah Re-education Center, unofficially known as Red Center, is the location where fertile women are trained and indoctrinated in Gilead’s belief system by the Aunts in order to become Handmaids.
All the characters are female in this larp, and it is meant to be played by players who are female (trans or cis), non binary or agender. There might be some male NPCs for specific scenes.
The majority of the characters in The Red Center will be Handmaids in different stages of their programming. They are perhaps the most important – but also the most oppressed – class of women in Gilead, as they are tasked with breeding and thus supplying Gilead with more children. All fertile women are forced to become Handmaids; otherwise, they will be sent to the Colonies where they will almost certainly die. These women are assigned to the homes of some of society’s most important men with the task to get pregnant by the men so as to provide them and their Wives (if they cannot conceive) with a child.
But there will be a few Aunts characters too. Aunts are a class of women in the Republic of Gilead. They are some of the highest-ranking women, responsible for overseeing the training and indoctrination of Handmaids, supervising births, and presiding over women’s executions. But while they have a privileged social status, every not-fertile woman in Gilead, including Aunts, have to prove to be useful to the society like anyone else. Nobody is really safe from the dreadful nightmare of being sent to work and die in the Colonies, and Aunts are no exception.
We will cast characters based on a casting questionnaire. You will receive a draft first and then a pre-written character sheet with plots, relationships, and the contact information of the other players. You will be able to talk about your boundaries and relationships before the larp.
Is this larp for you?
In this larp you will spend two days living at The Red Center, enduring constant programming to become part of a very dysfunctional but credible future. You will be in charge of oppressing other characters or being oppressed.
The process during which common women will be trained to become Handmaids is a heavy, even cruel, form of brainwashing, and the larp will be designed to offer a deep and possibly emotionally painful experience. We don’t plan to go soft; therefore, we might play with lack of sleep, lack of food, and other ways of simulating torture, both physical and psychological. Simulated violence and sexual violence will happen during the larp, managed with safe words, so that you will live and see different forms of violence.
There will be the chance to sleep off-game, but most violence will be managed by safe words. Please, take it into consideration before signing up. If you have doubts you can contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can check our safety rules in this link.
Also, remember: All the characters are female in this larp, and it is meant to be played by players who are female (trans or cis), non binary or agender.
There might be some male NPCs for specific scenes.
DATES: Nov 9th – 11th 2018 (full)
This larp will have a rerun in Italian in Italy 2019.
Friday: The bus leaves from the Madrid airport at 12:00. Players arrive at 14:00 to the venue. Workshops start at 16:00 (in costume). Larp starts at 18.30.
Sunday: The larp will end on Sunday morning; the exact time depends on the game. We will have an off-game lunch, and the bus will leave at 16:00 (it will arrive to the airport at 18.30).
There will be no out-of-game breaks for showering, eating, or sleeping; you’ll be able to do all of that as your character would.
Patron: 245€ (max 6 tickets)
Regular ticket: 185€
Sponsored tickets: 125€
The price of the larp will include all meals from lunch on Friday to the lunch on Sunday and two nights at the rural house (fri-sat and sat-sun). It only includes coffee or tea at breakfast and doesn’t include alcohol.
The people who sign up as patrons will make sponsor tickets available for players with low income, and we are extremely grateful for that! They will also have a 1-hour interview with one of the designers to find the characters most suitable for their experience (note: this is not a custom-made character).
Please note: This also does not mean that the patrons have preference in casting; our casting is solely based on your play preferences in the questionnaire, and our goal is to achieve an even spread of players over different groups.
Until 5th April: 1st payment of 90€. This larp fee is non-refundable.
Until 5th June: 2nd payment of 155€, 95€, or 35€.
If you need to make more payments, please contact us.
The larp signup fee (90€) is non-refundable.
If you cancel your participation 45 days before the larp starts we can not give any refunds.
The organizers reserve the right to refuse a participant the right to participate in the larp without giving any reason. In such a case the full fee will be returned to the participant. The organizers also reserve the right to refuse a participant to continue the larp if said participant makes the larp an unsafe place. In such a case no refund will be given. The organisers claim the right to pre-invite a number of players whose efforts have made the event possible.
The rental price is 45€ and mandatory for both groups of characters. You will need to bring your character’s shoes.
The location is approximately 2 hours from Madrid by car and 2 and a half hours by bus. The cost per person for a round trip by bus will depend on the number of people booking the bus (it will be around 15-25€).
The setting for this game is a beautiful Spanish rural house, a private 7.000 m2 property in Ávila 2 hours from Madrid. Everyone will sleep in rooms from 4 to 8 people on comfortable beds.
The food will be provided by a professional cook. Unless you have special dietary needs (please inform the organizers if you do!), you’re requested to not bring your own food.
Even if there are some rooms adapted for a wheelchair, the house has an area of more than 1.200 m2 on three floors. For some scenes, you might need to use stairs to move around the site and access the necessities. There is no need to have a good athletic condition to play the larp. There is no need to have good hearing or eyesight.
If you have further questions on accessibility or any special needs and still want to play the game, please contact us and we will see what we can do at: email@example.com
We will have the same number of reduced tickets available as the amount of patrons signing up.
It will not be a click war, but the people who sign up in the first two days will have priority. We also reserve the right to prioritize some players (regardless of their signup time) to ensure a diverse pool of nationalities and levels of experience.
We will work with two questionnaires: a short one for sign-up purposes and a longer one that you will need to fill in within three days of sign-up.
The storytellers will assign characters to the participants based on the preferences they have communicated in the second sign-up form.
Play to flow. We don’t play to win, we don’t play to lose. We are telling a story together, so please follow the other players, don’t block their plots, and include them in yours.
You are your own game master within the limitations of game and safety rules. We trust our players to be involved in the whole process from the character creation phase to the end of the event. That’s why, once the game starts, you don’t need to ask us permission to think or do something if your character would think or do that thing.
Your character sheet is yours. Read it, study it, cry on it, transform it, and play it. Do whatever you need as long as you respect the experience you agreed on.
What you see is what there is to see. There are no magic ability cards that can save you. All you see will be part of the game, and you will have to deal with the consequences. Respect other people’s experiences and safety: avoid any behavior or attitude that could hurt the immersion or the experience of other players, but also keep in mind that safety comes first.
There will be secrets. There are some stories that we want to be revealed in-game, so please be careful about the information you share with others out-of-game. Every character could have different levels of knowledge about different plots.
The off game use of any kind of electronic devices (tablets, phones, computers, etc) during the game should be discussed with the organizers.
“Verum”: When we say this word we are letting you know that the next sentence is a cue that must be followed; for example, ‘Verum: make way for this car.’ Only organizers can use it, although we will rarely do so.