Theatre meets robotics, telepresence, and digital animation in a European cooperation project.
Thursday, the 9th of June, at 20:00 (Romania time) / 19:00 (Italy time), “George Ciprian” Theatre in Buzău (Romania) and Industria Scenica in Vimodrone (Milan, Italy) invite you to the preview performance of “2032 SMART-FAMILY”, produced under the banner of “Tele-Encounters: Beyond the Human”, a cultural project co-funded by The Creative Europe programme of the European Union. The telematic performance will take place simultaneously in Romania and Italy, with actors and audiences in both countries. The actors in the two spaces interact in real time via video-conferencing on big projection screens. One of the characters in Romania is a custom-built robot, which increases the degree of innovation and risk of this international co-production.
In 2032, robots will be everywhere. You will find them in offices, shops, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and at the theatre. They will entertain you. They will help you. They will take care of you. They will be there for you whenever you need them. In 2032, you may even have Ogmios Z42 at home. The telematic theatre performance “2032 SMART-FAMILY” tells a story about parents, children, and the technology between them in the near and probable future. Laura Mihalcea, a retired philology teacher, lives alone in Romania. Her only daughter, Virginia, has emigrated to Italy, where she has formed a family. After Laura has a heart attack, Virginia buys her a social robot and connects their two dwellings, located thousands of miles away, via an intelligent video-conferencing system. Ogmios Z42 and the video cameras thus enter the life of the geographically dispersed family. The ethical and relational implications of technology gradually come to the surface.
The play explores the theme of migration and is based on interviews with Romanian migrants and elderly parents left behind in Romania. The research phase for building the robot included robot-character creation workshops for adults and children in Romania, Spain, and Italy.
The Romanian cast is formed by Aura Călărașu (the elderly mother, Laura Mihalcea) and Smaranda Găbudeanu (the actress controlling Ogmios Z42 in real time), while the Italian cast brings together Monica Buzoianu (Virginia Visconti, Laura’s daughter), Francesca Fatichenti (Amalia Visconti, Virginia and Lorenzo’s daughter), and Giovanni Longhin (Lorenzo Visconti, Virginia’s husband).
There will be 10 performances in total. After the preview, the performance will be revived in the autumn of 2022. Admission is free in both countries but only based on prior reservations. One of the autumn performances will also be live-streamed for an international audience.