You, Robot?
November 19, 2007 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Longshot, probably. A friend of mine is mounting a production of the Capek play RUR (Rossum's [or Rosmer's] Universal Robots) next season, and he's found a low-res photo from a 1923 production that intrigues him.

Any chance anyone out there has some better production stills from this show, or knows of *waves robot hands* somewhere to find them? I believe the production was either in Germany or Poland. The photo in question (of the Robot Rebellion) is here.
posted by Skot to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This page says your photo is from 1922 New York production, apparently by the Theatre Guild.
posted by mediareport at 8:10 AM on November 19, 2007

Best answer: Confirmed on this page. Google image search also yields Rossum Universal Robot (d'una representació teatral a Broadway, 1923). More stills here and here. There's probably a book these are all coming from; ask a good reference librarian to help and you'll probably find it.
posted by mediareport at 8:22 AM on November 19, 2007

Response by poster: Ah, thank you mediareport. The Poland/Germany assumption was my own stupid error.
posted by Skot at 8:28 AM on November 19, 2007

Best answer: A Pictorial History of the Theatre Guild seems to have photographs (snippet view) of the New York production.
posted by steef at 8:46 AM on November 19, 2007

I was just reading about RUR— it is apparently the first usage of the word 'robot.'
posted by shakespeherian at 10:14 AM on November 19, 2007

Yup, Karel Čapek’s brother Josef coined the word (based on Czech robota 'forced labour,' which is related to Russian rab 'slave' and German Arbeit 'work') when Karel told him about the idea for the play but said he didn’t know what to call the artificial workers. (My information says the play was first produced in English in 1923; the original is from 1920.)
posted by languagehat at 11:17 AM on November 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

(It was produced in 1922 in New York, languagehat.)
posted by mediareport at 12:03 PM on November 19, 2007

this was the guy who coined 'robot' according to my literature professor. it was an interesting play to read- i bet it would be wicked cool actually produced. especially all art deco-ish.
posted by genmonster at 5:10 PM on November 19, 2007

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