Monday, August 5, 2013

Strangeloop Theatre joins the robot revolution with R.U.R.: Rossum’s Universal Robots

Strangeloop Theatre launches its sixth mainstage season with the classic futuristic science fiction play, R.U.R.: Rossum’s Universal Robots, written by Karel Čapek and directed by Strangeloop Co-Artistic Director Brad Gunter. R.U.R. begins performances September 7, 2013, at The Side Project Theatre (1439 West Jarvis Ave., Chicago).

In 1921, Čapek introduced the word "robot" to a world still recovering from the ravages of war and built around it the concept that humankind would bring about its own destruction. In the play, the idealistic young Helena Glory arrives at the remote island factory of Rossum's Universal Robots, on a mission to liberate the robots. Old Rossum’s robots are not the mechanical men and women that later science fiction works would take up, but humanoid beings streamlined by man and biological in nature. So human-like, that Miss Glory has trouble telling man from machine. Not surprisingly, things do not go as planned — neither for Miss Glory, nor for humankind once the robots realize they actually are more than “so much grass.”

Still relevant today, R.U.R.: Rossum's Universal Robots examines what it is to be human and robot, and what it means to love.

Company members Holly Robinson and Michael Wagman join the cast of nine Chicago actors to bring this Czech classic to life. The cast of R.U.R. is: James Sparling as Harry Domin; Becca Kravitz as Sulla; Michael Wagman as Marius/Radius; Holly Robison as Helena Glory; Rory Jobst as Dr. Gall; Matthew Lloyd as Dr. Hallemeier; Paul Tinsley as Mr. Alquist; Tim Lee as Consul Busman; and Patricia Tinsley as Nana.

The production team for R.U.R. includes: Glen Anderson (set and lighting designer), Maria Burnham (script editor and marketing director), Carrie Campana (costume designer), Keith Gatchel (sound designer), Letitia Guillaud (production manager), Jaclyn Jensen (costuming assistant), Lisa Uhlig (props designer) and Mike Wozniak (graphic designer).

Intimately staged at The Side Project Theatre in Rogers Park, R.U.R. runs September 7 through October 6, 2013, at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Preview performances begin on September 5.

Tickets are $18 for general admission and available online at Brown Paper Tickets. Discounts are available for students and senior citizens. Season passes are also available.

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