R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), Karel Kapek's sci-fi classic, will be mounted in a rare revival production June 23-July 29 at Lonny Chapman's Group Repertory Theatre in Noho. The Czech playwright Capek coined the term robot from the Czech word "robit," which means "work." In his 1920s drama, scientists create a robot in man's image. The robots, stronger, more intelligent and "human" than mankind, eventually revolt against their masters.
R.U.R. has served as the inspiration for countless Hollywood and international sci-fi movies dealing with artificially created humans. As producer Frances Mizrahi said, "Capek's men of science begin with the noble vision of freeing man from common toil and poverty. Greed and a beautiful woman's naivete turn this dream into an Armageddon between man and machine."
By almost eighty years, Capek "anticipated the technological direction of the 21st century with its attendant dilemma: is technology liberating or dehumanizing us?" she said. "With cloning, computers and impersonal phone service...are we perfecting the machinery that will soon make us obsolete?"
Jerome Guardino directs for the GRT, which is located at 10900 Burbank Blvd. For tickets and information call (818) 769-PLAY.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent