R.U.R (Rossum’s Universal Robots)

The play begins in a factory that makes artificial people, called roboti (robots), from synthetic organic matter. They are not exactly robots by the current definition of the term: they are living flesh and blood creatures.

Play title: R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots)

Author (s): Karel Capek, Paul Selver, Nigel Playfair, Alan William Landes

Publisher: Penguin Books, Aventinum

Publication Date: 2004 (Penguin), 1920 (Aventinum)

Genre: Drama

Primary Discipline: Genetics

Secondary Discipline: Technology

Scientist (s): Fictional

Source Texts: Unknown

Character Breakdown: Humans: 6m, 2f;

Harry Domin (Domain): General Manager, R.U.R.

Fabry: Chief Engineer, R.U.R.

Dr. Gall: Head of the Physiological Department, R.U.R.

Dr. Hellman (Hallemeier): Psychologist-in-Chief

Jacob Berman (Busman): Managing Director, R.U.R.

Alquist: Clerk of the Works, R.U.R.

Helena Glory: President of the Humanity League, daughter of President Glory

Emma (Nana): Helena’s maid

Robots: 4m, 2f;

Marius, a robot

Sulla, a robotess

Radius, a robot

Primus, a robot

Helena, a robotess

Daemon (Damon), a robot

Setting:  A factory

Time Period: 1920, then several years after

Synopsis of Play: The play begins in a factory that makes artificial people, called roboti (robots), from synthetic organic matter. They are not exactly robots by the current definition of the term: they are living flesh and blood creatures rather than machinery and are closer to the modern idea of clones or replicants. They may be mistaken for humans and can think for themselves. They seem happy to work for humans at first, but a robot rebellion leads to the extinction of the human race.

First Performance Date: January 25th, 1921

First Producer: National Theater, Prague

Performance History: R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) had its first performance on January 25th, 1921 at the National Theater in Prague. The play introduced the word “robot” and was the first piece of science fiction ever broadcast on television. It was made into a 35 minute, TV adaptation on the BBC in 1938. https://www.tor.com/2012/10/30/sff-onstage-rossums-universal-robots-rur/

Review Links:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ott-0920-on-the-fringe-20130918-story.html

https://mdtheatreguide.com/2013/07/fringe-review-r-u-r/

https://www.theatreview.org.nz/reviews/review.php?id=8810

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/stage/theatre/r-u-r-review-may-the-robots-rise-up-to-meet-you-1.3198373  

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/09/theater/review-universal-robots-a-sci-fi-love-story-in-slo-mo.html

http://chicagotheaterbeat.com/2013/09/16/review-r-u-r-rossums-universal-robots-strangeloop-theatre/

Entered by: Meaghan Yesford

Production Photos:

                                      

1928-1929, Theatre Guild                                                                     1928-1929, Theatre Guild

                                                

1928-1929, Theatre Guild                                                           December 2013, Arts Building, Rotunda

2017, National Youth Theatre

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