R.U.R.

by Karel Capek
directed by Shade Murray
Season 21
September 20—October 25, 2008
Strawdog's R.U.R. is a major revival … at once horrifying, entertaining and—forgive the cliché—genuinely thought-provoking … everything about this production is right.
— The Wall Street Journal
The ensemble works together like, well, clockwork--particularly the quintet of socially maladjusted scientists whose reactions to the lovely Helena (Michaela Petro), a human advocate of robot rights, echo the academics smitten by Barbara Stanwyck in Howard Hawks's Ball of Fire. Miles Polaski's intricate array of sound and music cues (co-designed with Mikhail Fiksel) adds chilling aural texture; Dan Stratton's Constructivist-inspired set and Alison Greaves's period costumes give a deluxe feel to the cramped environment.
— Chicago Reader

The initials stand for Rossum's Universal Robots. Karel Capek's 1920 play introduced the word "robot" to the world, based on the Czech word for laborer (a fun fact you can use to annoy your friends over dinner).

Forget clunky metal boxes, these robots are genetically engineered humans with the troublesome parts, like needs and desires, omitted. The men of R.U.R. live alongside their constructs on a remote island, closely guarding their secret formula while supplying the world with all the cheap labor it can stand. It runs like clockwork until a beautiful young robot rights activist arrives via her father's private boat.

Shade Murray, director of Strawdog's Jeff Award-winning Detective Story and Marathon '33 once again breathes new life into a forgotten gem, a funny and fast-paced character piece that happens to blow the lid off a whole mess of deep metaphysical questions. What is life? What is love? You won't find out on the web site.

cast
Ryan Bollettino
Harry Domin
Brennan Buhl
Busman
Zachary Clark
Marius
Andrew Gebhart
Radius
Joe Goldammer
Primus
Sara Gorsky
Helena
Carmine Grisolia *
Hallemeier
Jocelyn Kelvin
Sulla
Nick Lake
Damon
Michaela Petro *
Helena Glory
Henry Riggs
Robot Ensemble
Noah Simon
Alquist
Rebekah Ward-Hays
Nanna
production
Author
Karel Capek
Director
Shade Murray
Assistant Director
Adil Mansoor
Set Design
Dan Stratton
Light Design
Sam Szigeti
Costume Design
Props Design
Sarah Elizabeth Miller
Ass't Props Design
Lily Bartenstein
Sound Design
Miles Polaski
Fight Choreographer
Matt Hawkins
Technical Direction
Tim Borntrager
Dramaturge
Amber Bel'cher
Stage Manager
Erin Carlson
Master Electrician
Connery MacCrae
Production Manager
Cortney Hurley
* = Strawdog company member
Photography by Jon Cole Media
Production photo by Chris Ocken
Photo by KBH Media
Photo by Donald Cardiff
Photo by John Flak
Photo by Dave Brennan
Photo by Heath Hays
Production photo by TCMcG Photography