Relative Theatrics presents UNCANNY VALLEY by Thomas Gibbons on the stage at the Laramie Plains Civic Center (LPCC) Gryphon Theatre February 16-18 and 23-25.
UNCANNY VALLEY is a “riveting exploration of robotics and the relationship between the creator and the creation.” The production is directed by James Hockenberry and features local actors Ryan Archibald and Alison Harkin. All performances are at 7:30pm and all are followed by a chat-back with the actors and design team. Audience seating is on stage and there is a limit of 50 tickets per show. The play contains adult themes and language. Supported in part with a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Tickets: Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 the day of the performance (subject to availability). Student and senior discounts are offered for Thursday performances, costing $8 in advanced or $10 the day of the performance. Tickets can be purchased online at www.gryphontheatre.org or at the LPCC ofﬁce during its business hours Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm. Admission is limited to 50 seats per show. Tickets may also be purchased in person at Coal Creek TAP. Patrons with proof of advance ticket sales can receive a pizza and two beers at Coal Creek TAP for $16.
Drawing on current research in artiﬁcial intelligence and robotics, UNCANNY VALLEY charts the relationship between Claire (Alison Harkin), a neuroscientist, and Julian (Ryan Archibald), a nonbiological human. As Julian is “born” a few body parts at a time over the course of the play, Claire teaches him how to be as human as possible: mirroring people’s speech, engaging in small-talk, playing a musical instrument. Their deepening friendship and Julian’s growing “humanity” lead to the revelations of an unhealed sorrow in Claire’s personal life and, ultimately, the purpose for which Julian has been created. UNCANNY VALLEY explores the painful divide between creator and creation, the inherent unpredictability of consciousness, and how we are redeﬁning what it means to be human in the twenty-ﬁrst century. “…cerebrally challenging…Gibbons creates a fascinating scenario. The questions the play raises—can, for instance, a robot’s consciousness attain a level of sophistication that qualiﬁes as sentience?—compel one to consider whether like the Tin Man, a manufactured being might actually someday possess a heart.…until the very last blackout, we remain tantalized by the mystery of what courses through Julian’s circuitry.” —Washington Post. “…Thomas Gibbons’s futuristic two-hander UNCANNY VALLEY [is] a techno take on the Pinocchio story: [Julian] is only a simulated human, and there may be a void where his ethical compass ought to be. But we’re sort of rooting for him just the same.” —NY Times.
Relative Theatrics strives to present thought-provoking theatre that examines the joining qualities of the human race. We believe that theatre is a forum with the power to illuminate the binding qualities of humanity and reinforce the ideals that as a society we have values that pose as common ground and emotions that relate us to one another. Taking artistic risk, we provide a community gathering place where thoughts can be exchanged about society, culture, and the power of creativity.