Friday, September 19, 2014

Science Fiction Play The Uncanny Valley @ The Brick 10/8-10/19

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Alphonse Nicholson as Edwin and RoboThespian™ as Dummy in The Uncanny Valley Photo credit: Paul Davis



After a successful premiere in The Brick's 2014 Game Play Festival THE UNCANNY VALLEY, written and directed by Francesca Talenti will return to The Brick Theater (579 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn) for a limited two-week run October 8-19. The production will feature a RoboThespian™ actor along with human actors Katja Hill and Alphonse Nicholson (Dominique Morisseau's Autumn's Harvest at Lincoln Center Theater). The creative team will include Puppeteer/Robot Manager Jim Bulluck, Software Designer Adrian Ilie, Robo Explorer Henry Fuchs, Set Designer David Navalinsky, Lighting Designer Kathy A. Perkins (Daniel Sullivan's In Real Life with Manhattan Theatre Club), and Stage Manager Alex James. 

What do we gain in our quest for immortality? What might we lose? Is technological progress the product of free will, or a Faustian bargain? Francesca Talenti imaginatively explores these questions in The Uncanny Valley, a new play for two humans and one humanoid robot. 

In The Uncanny Valley, young Edwin agrees to participate in a study run by the mysterious Professor Southcott in order to escape a destructive digital doppelganger. The contract Edwin signs promises him wealth and a clean slate; in exchange, he must upload his mind into Dummy, a robot capable of mirroring Edwin's being. This new multimedia play is a horrifying yet humorous exploration of the fragility of the human soul.

"It's as if My Dinner with Andre had been co-written by Thomas Pynchon and William Gibson" Brian Howe, Indyweek

The Uncanny Valley will play a two-week run October 8-19 at The Brick (579 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, one block from the L train Lorimer stop / G train Metropolitan stop), Wed 10/8 @ 8pm, Fri 10/10 @ 8pm, Sat 10/11 @ 8pm, Sun 10/12 @ 2pm, Thu 10/16 @ 8pm, Fri 10/17 @ 8pm, Sat 10/18 @ 8pm, & Sun 10/19 @ 2pm. Tickets ($18) are available online at or by calling OvationTix at 212-352-3101. The show runs approximately 75 minutes, without an intermission. 

ROBO THESPIAN™ Dummy the robot is a full-sized, fully programmed humanoid RoboThespian™. Created and produced by Engineered Arts in England, RobotThespians™ are becoming increasingly common as interactive tools and companions.The Uncanny Valley is one of the first instances of this cutting-edge technology being used in a theater production. Explore the robot at

FRANCESCA TALENTI (Creator/Director) has exhibited her work from Sundance to PBS National, by way of Mumbai, Göteborg, Casablanca, and many others. She has received grants from the Independent Television Service, Latino Public Broadcasting, and the Kauffman Foundation. Francesca has been trying to explode the rectangle to which the moving image is usually confined, and this has led her to creating media for live theater (video design for Hamlet at The Folger), interactive installations (Mishaps in The Kitchen, and The Bathysphere), and finally to working with a robot. Francesca is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she teaches media production.

THE BRICK Winner of the The Caffe Cino Fellowship Award The Brick presents world premieres, monthly performance series, and seasonal festivals, expanding Brooklyn's profile as a destination for cutting-edge art and entertainment. The Brick and its company, The Brick Theater, Inc, were founded in 2002 by Robert Honeywell and Michael Gardner. Formerly an auto-body shop, a yoga center, and various storage spaces, this brick-walled garage in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was completely refurbished as a state-of-the-art performance space. The Brick continues to seek new artists and projects, to provide them with a creative home, and to serve as Williamsburg's primary incubator of innovative theater arts.

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