Karel Čapek is the first to use the word “robot” (invented by his brother Josef) in a play that premiered in 1921.
Two facts are more than noteworthy here:
“Robots” are born to make theatre not to clean our floors
“Robot” will be a 100 years old this year and this has to be properly celebrated
“It’s Time to Fight Reality Once More” is a quote by the artificial intelligence A. I. Chekhov. “Sentimental Education for Robots” is theatre done by robots, from A to Z: writing a play, staging and designing it, and - last but not least - playing it on the stage.
Homo sapiens supposedly still has one advantage over technological creatures - that of creative thinking. But if robots have good teachers who aim at educating sensitive beings and who feed them the know-how of Chekhov, the best doctor of humans ever… Do we risk with losing our head start and will they finally take over poetry as well? How creative can a robot become? Does one need emotions in order to create or is it even better to do without them, as our fellow buddhists have taught?
Could creative spark be a system error? If yes, then can one learn to make this error?
A. I. Chekhov is born in Tartu in the spring of 2020. This is where he learned to read and write; this is where he took intensive courses in playwriting, focusing on the texts by A. P. Chekhov. In the fall of 2021 he continued his studies at Tallinn University, specialising in scenic improvisation, stage and sound design. He has written 23 plays at the moment.
He has said: “Scientifically speaking, no theatre is possible.”
Liina Keevallik has done set and costume designs in Estonian theatres as well as abroad (France, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Lithuania), her works ranging from big operas to underground avant-garde. She has worked as the head scenographer of Von Krahl Theatre and Estonian National Opera (Tallinn). She has also directed documentaries and short films, written scripts for short films and texts for performances and directed visual performances. For the past decade she has been more active in Paris, where besides her creative projects, she also defended a PhD thesis on a visual metaphor. She currently works as a freelancer artist in Paris and Tallinn and pursues her research on the poetic use of new technologies, in MEDIT (The Centre of Excellence in Media Innovation and Digital Culture) at the University of Tallinn.
Mart Kampus is mostly known for his performances for children, where he creates strange and hypnotic worlds that attract children and fascinate adults. His work generates strong and original space–time continuums where the visual aspect has a great importance. The multiple layers of meaning eliminate any sense of age limits for the public.
He has worked in a lot of Estonian theatres, as a resident stage director for the National Puppet Theatre (1986-1995) and at the Von Krahl Theatre (1995-1997). He was also the artistic director of the Children’s Theatre of Tartu (1997-2000). Since the year 2000 he has been a freelance stage director and professor for the theatrical arts. Many of his former students have become successful professional actors.
Together they have both done their very first performance; from then on they have experimented with different forms of visual theatre, the last cooperations being The Red Balloon (Theatre NO99 2016), Cloud Opera or the Dido Problem (Vaba Lava 2019), Ravel : Ravel (Estonian National Opera 2021).