Written by Thomas Gibbons
Directed by Lauren Miller

Featuring: Nora Chester and Anthony Roach

Wednesday June 4th at 7PM
Thursday June 5th at 7PM


Claire, a neuroscientist, contends with her own mind while she teaches Julian, a non-biological being, how to be human. Julian gains an extraordinary humanity, or perhaps merely a simulation of it, but he crosses a boundary when Claire’s personal life is placed at the mercy of Julian’s free will. In this terse and compelling drama, the creator and her creation peer over the edge of the UNCANNY VALLEY 
to confront the inherent unpredictability of consciousness.

  • Nora Chester and Anthony Roach in UNCANNY VALLEY by Thomas Gibbons, June 4th and 5th, 2014


Uncanny Valley began in my dentist’s waiting room. Leafing through a magazine, I saw a photograph: a man in a chair facing a table, on top of which is placed a startlingly lifelike robotic head. Arresting enough, but as I looked at the photo I found myself equally intrigued by the room surrounding them. Instead of a sterile laboratory, the two are in an incongruously old-fashioned parlor with carpet, a floor lamp, heavy drapes, and stenciled walls. Something about this photograph haunted me—maybe the disjunction between the turn-of-the-(last) century room, and the cultural stability it embodies, and the robotic head’s confident, self-possessed gaze. Or maybe it was the head itself, which seems about to speak.


THOMAS GIBBONS (Playwright) is playwright-in-residence at InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia, which has premiered eight of his plays: Pretending to America, 6221, Axis Sally, Black Russian, Bee-luther-hatchee, Permanent Collection, A House With No Walls, and Silverhill. Other plays include The Exhibition and Homer. His plays have also been seen at the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, off-off-Broadway at Blue Heron Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Florida Stage, Unicorn Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, New Repertory Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Center Stage, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Kirk Douglas Theatre/Center Theater Group, Aurora Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, and many others. He is the recipient of seven playwriting fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Roger L. Stevens Award from The Fund for New American Plays, the Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwriting Award, the NAACP Theatre Award, two Barrymore Awards for Outstanding New Play, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Permanent Collection was the pilot selection of the National New Play Network’s Continued Life of New Plays Fund, and A House With No Walls was a subsequent selection. Both plays, along with Bee-luther-hatchee, are published by Playscripts.