Chile receives its first female-robot on stage

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From Japan comes "Sayonara", the first play starring a female-robot of human appearance.
  
Nadia Politis


Report: Nadia Politis

11, April 2018

It has been named as the first play starring an android actress, and after his arrival in Chile "Sayonara" sold out all the plays performed between March the 23rd and the 25th at the GAM (Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center) and also put into discussion the use of technology as a tool of artistic creation, and as an eventual replacement of the roles currently performed by humans.

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The actress Makiko Murata shares a scene with a human-looking robot.

The actress Makiko Murat shares a scene with a human-looking robot. While one faces the sadness of an illness, the other remains immobile before a design flaw. Do the androids dream about become humans? the newspaper El País titled an article in 2015 making an analogy to the novel by Philip K. Dick published in 1968. According to the playwright and director of the work Oriza Hirata, this expression of art and science is inevitable taking into account the advance of technology.

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Both the woman and the prototype bought by her father (in the play) share the sadness of a disease and remain immobile when a failure takes place.
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The female android is able to talk and reproduce gestures, but can not walk, so it is presented in a chair.
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The play Sayonara talks about the meaning of life and death, both for humans and robots.
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Oriza Hirata, playwright and director of editing. The cast is composed by the female Android originally designed by Tokyo University of Arts, Makiko Murata and Yozo Shimada.
Photo of Brian Halligan
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For the team behind “Sayonara”, this work seeks to create a conversation between science and art in order to understand the intervention of technology at our daily life. The android is able to speak and reproduce gestures; her body is built with an articulated metal skeleton that is covered in rubber and silicone that looks similar to the skin. She is able to interact with real people and show their feelings through facial gestures and voice sound. In 2014 the collaboration between Oriza Hirata and Hiroshi Ishiguro showed one of his first projects in the performance of "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka with a robot.

The success of the play generated long ques in each function and ended up in a production in the big screen. "Sayonara", the movie was released in 2015 and was directed by the Japanese director Koji Fukada.

The theatrical version came as an absolute premiere in America at the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center (GAM) in Japanese and with Spanish subtitles. "Sayonara" is a co-production of the Seinendan company, the National University of Fine Arts and Music of Tokyo. The Robot Theater Project was born at University of Osaka. The cast is composed by the Android, originally designed by the Tokyo University of the Arts, Makiko Murata and Yozo Shimada.
Nadia Politis
Report: Nadia Politis
Photos GAM, Okura Hideki

11, April 2018

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