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Casper College Presents Karel Capek’s R.U.R. [AUDIO]

CeBIT, Hanover, Germany, March 1, 2011, Sean Gallup, Getty Images
CeBIT, Hanover, Germany, March 1, 2011, Sean Gallup, Getty Images

Casper College is presenting the fantastic melodrama R.U.R. in the Black Box Theater at the Gertrude Krampert theater complex. Opening night was Thursday and runs through Saturday, with performances next week May 3rd through the 7th.

So what’s it about?

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“As Marshall McLuhan said in Understanding Media, our technology is really a reflection of ourselves, and these robots reflect the human race and rebel against mankind in pretty much the same way that Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden.”

Dr. William Conte, the play’s director, says the 90-year-old play is surprisingly prescient because many of the playwright’s ideas of the future are coming to be with modern technology. And we could see the day when artificial intelligence actually has consciousness, self awareness, sentience.

Curtain time is 7:30:

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“It runs through Saturday at Casper College, and then performance will be held Tuesday through Saturday, May 3rd through 7th, in the Black Box of the Gertrude Krampert Theater and tickets are 12 dollars and they’re available at the door, but I would recommend that folks call the box office and make reservations.”

The number for the box office is 268-2500. Modern acting is very naturalistic, which works for movies, but in melodrama, says Conte, the acting is stylized.

Every glance at the stage is meant to be visual metaphor:

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“This is an interesting learning experience and these actors found it very challenging to go against the grain. They’d often tell me in rehearsal: am I doing too much; is this too big; am I hamming it up too much? I’m saying no, no, no, this is the style; I want you to stand there with your hand clenched in the air and describe the vision of the future in which nobody will ever have to work again.”

Dr. Conte says another aspect of the melodrama is the live music that goes with the performance, and this music was composed by Gary DePaolo, principal violist for the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra.

Modern antique vision of the future:

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“The play, the way we’ve designed it structurally corresponds to the themes of the play. And this method of execution, ironically, would have been impossible 20 years ago, using state-of-the-art technology to try and bring the audience back to a vision of the future that’s 90 years old.”

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