The Theatre of the People is at it again with one of their innovative double features. This time it’s a Science Fiction Fair with H.G.Wells classic The Invisible Man and the play that the word “robot” comes from Karel Capek’s R.U.R.
WFIU’s George Walker talked with the two directors, Theatre of the People cofounder David Nosko, and area playwright and director Pat Anderson.
David, with your earlier experience in trimming full length works by Ibsen and Strindberg into compact one acts. You seem a natural to work with the Karel Capek, but why did you do it.
“Well, R.U.R was written nearly a century ago, and to some degree it’s your great-grand-parents theatre. For one thing, there’s a lot more narration than we feel the need of today,” answered Nosko. “And, as in the past with my work on Strindberg’s Miss Julie and Ibsen’s Enemy of the People, paring my way line by line into Capek’s work, I learned things about it that I might have missed. For one thing, I found that at its heart, R.U.R is a love story. It’s also a story about what it is to be a person and perhaps even about what constitutes a soul.”
“I should point out, that in line with our continuing effort to find new ways to interpret and present classic stories, there will be some surprising approaches. For instance, there is a dancing chorus of robots that will help with transitions and to carry some of the story elements.”
Director Pat Anderson and her cast have taken a very different approach to developing their production of H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man. “We went right to the novel. I skipped film and theatre treatments and encouraged my cast to do the same. We worked with the original, but developed our scenes from an improv’ approach. Frankly, this is not an approach that built for efficiency. But if properly managed it can give you a great working experience and a show that’s very close to the cast. I mentioned that it does need to be managed, and I have to say that my assistant director Suzie Zimmerman was very important in keeping account of things and occasionally steering us back on track. “
Theatre of the People
The Science Fiction Fair
H.G. Wells The Invisible Man
Karel Capek’s R.U.R.-Rossum’s Universal Robots
Rose Firebay of the John Waldron Arts Center
Fri/Sat (Oct 16,17) 8 pm Fri 2 pm and 8 pm Sat
Th/Fri/Sat(Oct 22,23,24) Thu, Fri 8 pm Sat 2 pm and 8pm