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Volume 24, Number 5 — May 2017

Arts Calendar

Barter Theatre introduces
Sean Campos and Lucy Bivins in a scene from Barter's "Uncanny Valley."

Barter Theatre introduces "Uncanny Valley"

Date(s):  April 04 - 30, 2017
Venue: Barter Theatre
133 West Main Street
Abingdon, VA 24212

ABINGDON, Va. — Barter Theatre introduces "Uncanny Valley" Thursday, April 6. The production starts this week and runs until April 30 at Barter Stage II, staring Sean Maximo Campos and Mary Lucy Bivins.

Originally coined by Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori in 1970, the term "uncanny valley" describes a strange revulsion or unease toward things that appear nearly human, but are not. This freaked out feeling is usually geared towards robots, but can also include computer animations and animatronics. Consider that animation (in a movie or video game) that looks so realistic, that it nearly tricks the eye into believing that it is seeing actual human beings on screen.

Producing Artistic Director Richard Rose says, "we've come a long way since Mori's essay, impressive progress has been made on the simulation of the human form — the skin, the movement, the looks and gestures and so on." Rose adds, "Barter Theatre's production begs the question, what does it mean to be human? Will these non-biological humanoids be perfect? Or perhaps infused with our own wonderful idiosyncrasies?"

On stage, "Uncanny Valley" is a jaunt into the future where Claire, a neuroscientist, forms a relationship over time with Julian, a non-biological human. Explore the painful divide between creator and creation and the inherent unpredictability of consciousness as the production redefines what it means to be human in the 21st century.

Tickets for all performances begin at $20. Barter Theatre is offering three productions for just $99 until April 28. The three for $99 subscription comes with subscriber benefits including 15 percent off additional tickets for friends and family. To purchase tickets, visit or call 276-628-3991.


Topics: Theatre

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