The first performances of R.U.R. are taking place this weekend – preceded by a talk by Prof. Heather Love putting the play into context.
Thu Oct 13, noon
In-person at Library East Reading Room, or register for Zoom webinar:
R.U.R.’s Robot Rebellion: Cybernetics Lineages and Cultural Legacies
Invited talk: Heather Love (University of Waterloo)
Professor Heather A. Love traces a lineage from the robot rebellion in Karel Čapek’s cautionary 1921 play R.U.R. to the cybernetic machines developed by the likes of Norbert Wiener during WWII; and she explores the enduring legacy of this imagined narrative within contemporary media and tech culture.
This program is partially funded/sponsored by the Visiting Professor Program, which is funded by a grant to the Office of the Provost from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.
Fri-Sat Oct 14-15, 7:30PM
In-person at McArdle Theatre (Walker Hall), or watch livestream
Tech Theatre Company performance: R.U.R.
Tickets : $15 / youth $5 / MTU students free
Sat 15 Oct: post-performance discussion with Heather Love, director Christopher Plummer, and cast members
R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) imagines a world in which synthetic humanoid beings perform virtually all work previously done by humans. This change has a profound effect on the human race (the birth rate plunges as people struggle with a lack of purpose), and the robots themselves begin to perceive their own worth and rights as sentient beings. Eventually they lash out against their human oppressors in a violent rebellion. The play ends with a pair of robots discovering love, suggesting a return of compassion to the world.