MU Theatre Celebrates Launch of New Season with RoboFest!


Live theatre is back on Miami’s campus! “We are so excited to invite audiences back into our spaces to see our work in person,” says Department of Theatre Chair, Julia Guichard. “We’ve titled the 2021-2022 Miami University Theater season ‘Ruptured. Restructured’ to reflect the feeling that we are coming out of a complete disruption of theatre as usual and forging a path forward that includes elements of a traditional approach to theatre AND new, exciting elements.” 

To launch the year, MU Theatre (the Miami University Department of Theatre) will host RoboFest, a listening party for their first production of the 2021-2022 season, R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots)R.U.R. is a radio play adapted by Lee Shackleford from Karel Čapek's classic play. The Department of Theatre recorded the audio in front of a live studio audience in the Gates-Abegglen Theatre over two days in early October. The radio play will be available on MU Theatre’s youtube channel for two weeks starting with RoboFest on October 15.

RoboFest will feature a live stream of the radio play, robot costume contest, hot cocoa bar, a performance by MULE (Miami University Laptop Ensemble), and a meet and greet with robots from both the College of Engineering and Computing and Emerging Technology in Business and Design. The fest will take place outdoors in the Arts Quad (Fine Arts Plaza), so attendees are invited to bring blankets or chairs. 

R.U.R. is a timely story about the world’s leading robot factory that builds a line of lifelike robots, complete with artificial intelligence, to perform tasks humans no longer wish to do. What could go wrong? Čapek’s play debuted a century ago, introducing the word “robot” to the world. And raising questions about humanity's relationship with technology that we still ask every day.
MU Theatre will follow R.U.R. with a second installment of the Miami University Fringe Festival, November 18 - 20. Bringing the international performance art festival to Miami was initially planned in response to the move to virtual theatre during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival saw many successes in its first year including supporting new student works and interdisciplinary collaborations across campus. Based on this success, MU Theatre decided to reprise the festival again this fall.

The annual Independent Artists Series will kick off the spring semester. The student-run IAS provides an outlet for the creative work of students and encourages experimentation with theatrical form. The series is modeled after the "storefront" theatre movement and is produced entirely by students who serve as directors, designers, technicians, performers, stage managers and marketers.

The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse follows IAS and runs March 9-13, 2022. In this play, audiences are welcomed to a typical suburban drama classroom where a group of educators gather to create a new Thanksgiving play for elementary school students. Earnest and well-intentioned, the teachers struggle with the layers of complexity surrounding the holiday. Larissa FastHorse’s quick-paced comedy takes on our notion of wokeness with humor and honesty.

The final production of the spring semester will be Head Over Heels, April 20 - 24, with songs by the Go-Go’s. Head Over Heels is an original concept and book by Jeff Whitty, adapted by James Magruder and based on The Arcadia by Sir Philip Sydney. The Kingdom of Arcadia is at risk when the King receives the most dire prophecy. The royal family’s journey to evade fate leads each member on a path of discovery centered on equity, inclusion, and self-knowledge. Love is love in this bawdy, madcap combination of a 16th-century romance and the songs of 80’s rockers the Go-Go’s. 
If you go:

October 15, 7 p.m.
Arts Quad/Fine Arts Plaza