This month we turn the spotlight on Mac Rogers, the author of Universal Robot
s, opening this week at Manhattan Theatre Source.
actor, blogger and cute nerd, Rogers is arguably becoming an
Off-Off-Broadway rock star! Nominated for the Outstanding Actor in a
Leading Role award in 2007, Rogers is one of the most Google-able
artists working in our community.
Although recognized at the It Awards for his intense and sympathetic performance on stage in Nosedive Productions
' The Adventures of Nervous-Boy (A Penny Dreadful)
Rogers is probably better known as a playwright and is one of the
exciting new voices in the indie theatre scene: Playscripts, Inc.
published his play The Second String
, Universal Robots
was included in NY Theatre Experience's anthology "Plays and Playwrights 2008," and Hail Satan
won a FringeNYC 2007 Outstanding Playwriting Award. Along with Sean and Jordana Williams, Mac wrote Fleet Week
: The Musical, winner of a FringeNYC 2005 Outstanding Musical Award and has had New York productions of Dirty Juanita
, The Sky Over Nineveh
, and The Lucretia Jones Mysteries
directed by Rosemary Andress, is based on Czech playwright Karel
Capek's 1921 play R.U.R. "Rossum's Universal Robots", the play that
introduced the term "robot" (coming from the Czech word "robota"
meaning "forced labor") and the concept of robots, to the world. When
World War II began, Capek, who was known for his books on the fear of
social disasters and dictatorships, refused to leave Czechoslovakia and
was persecuted, along with his brother, Josef (also a writer) by the
Nazis. Josef would later be captured and eventually die in a
Rogers' play goes further than mere
adaptation and explores of Capek's own amazing and tragic story.
Quoted in a New York theatre blog, Rogers says:
"I didn't want
to write an adaptation...I had a whole new idea: a play about Capek -
but not the real one, an imaginary Capek inspired by certain facets of
the real one. I wanted to take aspects of his real life, and then mash
them up with plot elements from R.U.R. to create a science fiction
story about the enormous forces that radically change our societies,
and the flawed, complex human beings who try to harness and steer those
Open now, Universal Robots
stars Esther Barlow, Jason Howard, David Ian Lee, David Lamberton,
Michelle O'Connor, Ridley Parson, Nancy Sirianni, Tarantino Smith, Ben
Sulzbach & Jennifer Gordon Thomas and runs through March 7, 2009 at
the Manhattan Theatre Source
. For tickets call (212) 501-4751 or check out the website.