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Uncanny Valley

Like many of its science fiction predecessors, University Theatre’s production of Thomas Gibbon’s play addresses the philosophical questions and ethical issues surrounding artificial intelligence. Starring two MFA acting students, the play centers around the relationship between neuroscientist Claire, played by Katherine Butcher, and her humanoid robot Julian, played by Larry Cox Jr. As Julian becomes increasingly more human-like, the two must face the uncomfortable divide between creator and creation. The play is directed by David Saltz, whose recent academic research has focused on the history and practice of robotic theater, which first appeared in 1921 with Karel ÄŒapek’s R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots).