VisionFest5: Johnny 5 Is Alive | Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

VisionFest5: Johnny 5 Is Alive Agenda The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Wednesdays-Fridays. Continues through Aug. 2 2013

The ten playwrights contributing to LiveWire Chicago's fifth annual short-play festival try to dissect our tech-crazed zeitgeist, focusing on anxieties generated by innovations both contemporary (blogging, e-books, online dating) and futuristic (robot servants, synthesized human presence). Yet most everything in the two 90-minute programs feels like an Outer Limits retread: technological "progress" compromises all the unique, unquantifiable, and soulful aspects of human interaction and threatens to render us programmable, interchangeable, and erasable. For the most part the playwrights deploy strained metaphors to illustrate obvious or muddled points, and only Gus Menary, directing Ike Holter's standout Weirdo (about the dire consequences of unwise blogging), musters a nonsoporific pace. The fascinating art on the walls of Intuit gallery continuously upstages the performers.—Justin Hayford

Price: $15-$20


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