|Spread across two centuries, three characters are looking for connection in PCPA’s production of The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence|
A loving tribute and modern cautionary tale dedicated to the people and machines upon which we all depend, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence plays in PCPA’s Severson Theatre March 8 through 25.
Madeleine George’s witty, time-jumping play spins in the orbit of four Watsons. Watson the trusty sidekick to Sherlock Holmes. Watson the loyal engineer who built Bell’s first telephone. Watson the unstoppable super-computer. And Watson an amiable techno-dweeb who in the present day is just looking for love.
While it’s true that the play explores the relationship between people and their technology, the heart of the play is about intimate human relationships. “It’s about this fundamental human wish to be open to, and vulnerable to, and dependent on, other people without risk. And, obviously that’s impossible. People are unpredictable and terrifying and mortal,” the author explains. “In order to have what relationships will bring you, which is arguably everything that’s worth having in the world, you have to experience unbearable things.”
George describes the characters in her play as representational of three diseased forms of relationships. “I feel like the three characters are in some ways living embodiment of the three ways that we can go murderously wrong with other people. Dominate them, try to control them; withdraw from them, let them shrivel up, deprived of contact with us; or merge with them and in so doing destroy the separateness that creates companionship. So that’s Merrick, Eliza, and Watson.”
Kitty Balay who has over 80 PCPA productions to her credit as an actor, will direct The Watson Intelligence – this being her second directorial assignment for PCPA . For Balay, this production will serve as an opportunity to explore our deep yearning for a warm connection with other people, and how we sometimes find it easier to fill that need with cold technology. She explained, “Technology can offer us instantaneous gratification in a way that a person often can’t. With our phones in our pocket, we are able to connect to the world, our kids, our moms, in an instant. We can ignore the messages from the people we don’t want to talk to. It gives us the power to choose connection or distance from the people in our lives. We can hold in our hands a device that gives us a sense of control in a world where we increasingly feel out of control.”
The Watson Intelligence cast includes Acting Intern Jeff Salsbury, Resident Artist Amani Dorn*, and Guest Artist Tim Fullerton. The creative team includes Scenic Designer Abby Hogan, Costume Designer Pamela Shaw, Lighting Designer Jennifer ‘Z’ Zornow, and Sound Designer Andrew Mark Wilhelm. Zoia N. Wiseman is the Stage Manager.
The(curious case of the) Watson Intelligence contains mature themes and adult language.
*Member, Actors’ Equity Association
The Watson Intelligence is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French
Visit The Watson Intelligence web page for more information
Box Office: (805) 922-8313
The Watson Intelligence is generously sponsored by Linda Stafford Burrows