Rise of the Machines

For those who fear robots, we live in terrifying times. The machines are gradually encroaching upon our lives, lulling us with a sense of convenience while they increase our dependence on them until the inevitable day when they rule us; even Google founder Larry Page is a proponent of the Singularity Movement, which has a goal of seamlessly merging man and machine within a few decades.

That’s not really the premise of Machines Like Us — the Theatre Company of Lafayette’s new play series is actually a celebration of the ninetieth anniversary of the term “robot,” first coined in the 1921 play RUR — but TCL playwright-in-residence Don Fried sees a parallel. His full-length Getting Betta tells the story of an anthropomorphic robot and an old man who form an unlikely friendship — until the robot “gets paranoid and turns schizophrenic, and things spiral of control,” says Fried.

Turns schizophrenic, just as all robots eventually will.

Getting Betta and Robots at Play, a second program of six short plays, both debut at Machines Like Us, which begins tonight and continues in repertory through March 26 at the Mary Miller Theater, 300 East Simpson Street in Lafayette. For information on showtimes and to purchase tickets ($8 to $15), go to www.tclstage.org or call 720-209-2154.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 6, 6 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: March 4. Continues through March 26, 2011

 
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