A robot revolution in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre


THE BROCK PRESS/Brittany Brooks

THE BROCK PRESS/Brittany Brooks

The Dramatic Arts Department at Brock University is presenting their rendition of Karel Capek’s play Rossum’s Universal Robots from Feb. 12-14


Sci-fi and theatre fans alike will come together when the Department of Dramatic Arts presents an adaptation of Karel Capek’s 1920 play Rossum’s Universal Robots (R.U.R) in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre at Brock University.

Capek is known for his significant contribution to the science fiction theatre and more importantly for introducing the word ‘robot’ to not only the English language but to all languages across the globe.

A classic title in the world of science fiction, R.U.R addresses the anxieties concerning the development of artificial life-forms decades before science had even conceived of what we now know as modern genetic engineering.

The original version drew on the potential power struggles and anxieties around technological advancements and the robots resembled biological organisms that were much more human-like than our contemporary depiction of mechanical robots.

R.U.R. Episode 4: Rise of the Robot God directed by Dramatic Arts Professor David Fancy revises Capek’s play to break down the moral supremacy and glorifying of man that was present in the original. Furthermore, his rendition attempts to portray the patriarchal normalcy depicted in Capek’s in a different light for the purpose of emphasizing the foolishness of these traditional ideologies.

“I have never done a show so highly promoted at this magnitude of production, especially dealing with such controversial themes,” said Dramatic Arts student, Josh Sanger, who will be playing the character of Fabry.

Fancy’s rendition of the production speaks to the present cultural anxieties concerning the fast-pace progression of technological advancements and narratives of apocalyptic visions of the future.

The play functions as a tribute to the epic Star Wars saga and the Terminator series which demonstrate ideas about relationships between humans and robots.

Audience members will experience the interactions between humans and robots and witness what happens when robots realize their superlative intelligence and attempt to take over humanity in light of its downfalls.

“Working with David was a whole new experience; we started with movement, developing character, and used different conventions to bring into the show before even working with scripts all together. It definitely expanded the amount of creativity I could bring to my character,” said Sanger.

The adaptation features robots and cyborgs among an extravagant set design, and will deliver numerous plot twists that will undoubtedly leave the audience on the edge of their seats for the duration of the performance.

The play is filled with several comedic gestures of popular culture that pertain to a “geek-friendly” atmosphere where everyone is encouraged to dress in their favourite sci-fi character costumes. The cast and production team have reached out to several comic book stores and conventions and have encouraged them to attend clad in their best “cosplay”.

Start off your reading week right by supporting Brock’s Drama Department and attending what is anticipated to be an exciting, entertaining and ultimately brilliant production.

Performances will be taking place on Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 13 at 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18.00 for adults and $15.00 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased at the Centre for the Arts Box Office or online at arts.brocku.ca

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