(R.)U.R Going to Love It

Computers are taking over. That’s a fact that we can’t deny no matter what argument. With the rise of technology from Chat GPT to even our own university’s Starship delivery robots, we are surrounded by new inventions. But what about in the 1920s? Even without all of this technology, playwright, Karel Čapek (he/him), saw a future with technology as the support beam of humanity and reflects this in R.U.R, which was performed from November 16th to the 19th here at BSU.

The play is about Domin’s (played by Thomas Slater II, he/him) universal robot factory, where robots are produced to assist humans. And by assist, I mean do their work for them. Helena (played by Lyndsey Grier, she/her) goes to check out this factory for herself and that’s where the story begins.

As for the acting and cast, every scene was absolutely nailed. Grier was amazing as Helena, who probably ended up being my favorite, as she was the one who could initially see the problem with robot workers. Another great character would be Alquist (played by Danielle Johnson, she/her), who had a beautiful soliloquy towards the end of the play that was incredibly expressive. 

What really helped the acting stand out was the use of lighting and scenery. Every bit of the scenery was made of use from a simple window to a working light that changed color when the door was opened. In addition, I enjoyed the bits of symbolism throughout the play, particularly the use of the bible story of Adam and Eve, which comes up a fair number of times and it never feels forced.

As for the actual story, the play really spoke to me with its warning of what the future may hold with too-powerful technology. I know that some people may find warnings about artificial intelligence-like tools to be repetitive or annoying, but to me, I think it’s a message that we really can’t get enough of nowadays.

So next time someone says computers are taking over, remember that one day, computers may ACTUALLY take over. While this play may have come and gone, I look forward to seeing the next play by the theater production crew!

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