‘Thinking Something Makes It So’: Performing Robots, the Workings of Mimesis and the Importance of Character
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Responding to a distinctively twenty-first-century phenomenon – plays that cast robot performers as character versions of themselves (as opposed to being performed by humans) – LePage explores the question, ‘What do robots have to do with theatre?’ She finds that, more than their novelty, robot performers fascinate audiences for what they reveal about being a human today. Also they have significant formal implications for the new millennium’s drama, in particular naturalism. Analysing the work of Three Sisters: Android Version (Tokyo, 2012), written and directed by Oriza Hirata, LePage argues that dramatic character and theatrical structures are more important than species identity in engendering audience empathy and belief, as the performing robot becomes a humanlike individual that audiences can believe in.
KeywordsRobots Performance Naturalism Empathy Belief Oriza Hirata Posthuman Android theatre
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