Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sayonara: Android Human Theatre

Geminoid (left), actress (right)


I went to see 'Sayonara: Android Human Theatre' at the Arts Centre on the 24th of August. The theatre was completely full and all we knew we will see the interaction between a robot, Android, and the actors. A play created in collaboration between Hiroshi Ishiguro Osaka Laboratory (http://top.irl.sys.es.osaka-u.ac.jp/) and  Seinendan Theatre Company (http://www.seinendan.org/eng/seinendan/index.html)

Most of the audience, myself included, expected to see the Android coming on stage walking, as we have seen in so many science fiction movies, and sincerely, we were disappointed. It was also weird to notice that the Geminoid moves only her face but not any limbs or any other part of her body, which was also strange. 

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWnnqObk1qM&feature=watch-vrec

However, which is remarkable and quite amazing is how, we, as spectators (at least me) were emotionally moved by an actor non-human, a robot. The most important aspect of everything is that the Geminoid and the show emphasize the 'humanity' in robots and the capacity of moving the audience, making them to empathize with Geminoid. There was a very poetical moment in which 
the robot, during the play, talks and share with us her wish to be able to die, or to feel love and pain.
A very well achieved theatre play in which actors (robots or not) touched our souls.

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