The Sex With Robots Festival (2013)




Eight short plays, all about sex with robots. These playwrights offer a window into our humanity as their characters project their messy desires onto their mechanical lovers.

November 5-10, 2013 at 8pm
The Secret Theatre
4402 23rd Street, Long Island City, NY

Girlfriend Repair by Micheline Auger; directed by Kel Haney
featuring James Hunter,* Craig Andrew Zisel, Anthony Perullo, and Justin Fuller*

My Fantasy Sex Robot Came in the Mail Today by Danny Bowes; directed by Amber Gallery
featuring Danny Bowes and Jennifer Harder

Make Your Bed in Hell by J. Julian Christopher; directed by Melissa Attebery
featuring Natasha Yannacañedo* and Albert Andrew Garcia

Simon Says by Richard Lovejoy & Eric Meyer; directed by Michael Gardner
featuring Richard Lovejoy and Eric Meyer

Just Right by Mariah MacCarthy; directed by Nick Leavens
featuring Lauren Hennessy and Sarah Matteucci

Sasha by Mac Rogers; directed by Pete Boisvert
featuring Daryl Lathon*, Catherine LeFrere*, and Stephen Heskett

Taisetsu Na Hito by Leah Nanako Winkler; directed by Matt Dickson
featuring Mari Yamamoto

A Real Boy by Natalie Zutter; directed by Leta Tremblay
featuring Diana Oh and Nicko Libowitz

with a robot sex song cycle by Nat Cassidy*

*indicates member of Actors’ Equity Association

Photo by Kacey Anisa.

Photo by Kacey Stamats.

“The writing is witty, sharp, and frequently hilarious, and the actors bring every bit of humanity to even the most robotic roles…The shorts each take unique approaches to the theme, and the evening is well curated—the festival’s coordinators create a great balance between topics and style…the cast and crew of each play have very clearly poured their hearts and souls and circuitry into this project, and it shows in every scene…This was probably the most responsive audience I’ve ever been in. Everyone around me gasped, giggled, uncomfortably shifted themselves away from the action—they were clearly invested in these stories…complex stories that twist in an instant from bright and witty to disturbing.”

“Like the best robot fiction from Isaac Asimov to Greg Pak, these plays about sex with robots are really about love among humans, in all its miracles and malfunctions and missed signals.” –Fanchild

“Productions by Caps Lock Theatre are pretty much an assurance of an entertaining and unforgettable experience…[combines] the hilariousness of the topic with a large dose of sexual nudity and stories that will first make you laugh, then make you laugh some more, and finally, make you think…The large cast is extremely talented, combining a knack for comedy with some quality acting, especially during some of the more serious tales. You’ll also get more than an eye full of boobs, butts and penises in quite an explicit manner — so be prepared!

“If you’re up for an extremely funny, unusual and entertaining evening which will provide for some geeky conversation on your way home, get yourselves over to the Sex With Robots Festival and do it fast…It will be the best 18 bucks you’ll spend in a while!” –Theatre Is Easy

Pictured: Nicko Libowitz and Diana Oh. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Pictured: Nicko Libowitz and Diana Oh. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

“Without a doubt the sexiest show I’ve ever seen…There are some similar themes that run throughout, but what’s amazing about this night of theater is that for having 8 plays by 9 playwrights in a single evening, everything works remarkably well with each other…The plays are remarkably open, raw, naked, and honest. It’s a night that will make you laugh to relieve uncomfortable tension. A night that will force you to stare unflinchingly at the feelings you have toward sex and love. A night that will make you open your heart just so it can punch its robotic fist right in there. It’s a night of shows that are exhilarating, sexy, fun, passionate, and dangerous.” –Internet After Dark

“Robot fetishists in trench coats will be surprised to find that this theater festival contains insightful works of science fiction… alongside the roboporn…The smorgasbord of artists was a fast-paced feast of robosexualism and it’s a shame that it wasn’t around for a longer stretch.  Sci-fi fans can hope for a revival at some point in the future.” –Theater for Nerds

“Overall, this was a delightful evening of themed entertainment, and I especially appreciate that we got a variety of robots for our humans to have sex with — male, female, neither — and a variety of relationships, as well. The best science fiction uses SF tropes to examine the human condition, and all these plays did that quite well.” –KRAD’s Inaccurate Guide to Life

Pictured: Nat Cassidy. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Pictured: Nat Cassidy. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Sparks Will Fly:

“The evening began with an epic folk ballad from Nat Cassidy—of Nat Cassidy and the Nines—about the forbidden love of man and machine. If you’re hoping the words “love” and “Asimov” are used in a rhyming couplet, well, buddy, you’ve found your song! Honestly that wasn’t something I knew I needed it until it came out of Cassidy’s mouth—now I’m not sure how I lived without it.”

“Cassidy’s Sparks Will Fly, like several of the episodes, draws on the rustic future of mid-20th-century cybernetic chic, in a tale of a lonely man who engineers suburban bliss the only way it can really never go wrong, by literally building a family. Sung in a catalogue of cocktail-croon voices to the original locomotive techno of blues and folk, it’s a small masterwork of the human mind making of others what it will.” -Fanchild

“Seriously though, that song of his better end up on one of his upcoming albums. Nat has a way of performing his songs that draws you into the story he weaves through its music.” -Internet After Dark

“Kind of a sex-with-robots version of Billy Joel’s “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”” -KRAD’s Inaccurate Guide to Life

Pictured: Eric John Meyer. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Pictured: Eric John Meyer. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Simon Says:

“When these machines are so much like us, then they become us, and we start to feel human emotions towards them like empathy or jealousy. The first story, Simon Says (by Richard Lovejoy and Eric John Meyer), epitomizes this really well…When prodding the audience to give the robot a task, audience members responded by either giving an equally humiliating task to do (“put your penis in the glass of wine”) or by rebelling and telling the robot to ignore what his horrible master is asking him to do, which was received with much applause.” -Theatre Is Easy

“A tense carnivalesque tableau of an abusive prig dominating his mechanical-manservant; a macabrely humorous natural extreme of the 99-to-1 equation.” -Fanchild

“It’s a nice evolution, modulating from what looks like a peek into a dysfunctional relationship and turns into a sales pitch.” -KRAD’s Inaccurate Guide to Life

“Wonderfully dark and creepy – and amps that up 150% when it breaks its fourth wall.” -Internet After Dark

Pictured: Stephen Heskett and Catherine LeFrere. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Pictured: Stephen Heskett and Catherine LeFrere. Photo by Kacey Stamats.


“A devastating tragedy of ill manners, cracking open the schematics of human emotional damage the way Rogers never fails to. A divorced man, played by Stephen Heskett with morose Don Draper mastery, is shopping for the simulated wife who will really give him what he wants, and the truth of what that is says much about the voluntary torture of bad marriages. Catherine LeFrere as the deceptively subordinate Stepford-wife and Daryl Lathon as the mod-Mephistopheles salesman are also fascinating, with cracklingly somber direction in an epic of menacing restraint by Pete Boisvert.” -Fanchild

“Begins as a simple piece about a wealthy man buying a customized femmebot, but gradually shifts into a heartbreaking look at desire and solitude. All of the actors in the festival were fantastic, but I do want to pay special attention to Catherine LeFrere as Sasha, who has to switch between six different modes throughout the scene, and was fluid and convincing in each one.”

“A rather charming piece of 15-seconds-into-the-future sci-fi in that way Mac always pulls off so eloquently. Daryl Lathon also plays a slick salesman for Catherine LeFrere’s no nonsense robot.” -Internet After Dark

“Eventually we see just how fucked up Andrew is, but getting there is half the fun, particularly with Daryl Lathon superbly playing the salesman and Catherine LeFrere absolutely nailing the many modes that Sasha goes into.” -KRAD’s Inaccurate Guide to Life

Pictured: Craig Zisel, Justin Fuller, and James Hunter. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Pictured: Craig Zisel, Justin Fuller, and James Hunter. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Girlfriend Repair/Just Right:

“Micheline Auger’s “Girlfriend Repair” and Mariah MacCarthy’s “Just Right” are both about finding—or creating—the perfect girlfriend, but the former is as wordy and funny as the latter is harsh and visceral. Getting to see both of these pieces within a few moments of each other just highlight why independent theater in NYC is so amazing.”

“Girlfriend Repair by Micheline Auger constructs a hilarious technical metaphor for males deciphering the mechanics of female desire, while Just Right by MacCarthy is a terrifyingly truthful portrait of domestic abuse between a woman and her robotically re-created ex-girlfriend, pushing each other’s buttons in a nightmarish loop.” -Fanchild

“[Girlfriend Repair] had a little in common with the classic sexbot epic Cherry 2000, but with more self-awareness.” -Theater for Nerds

Pictured: Sarah Matteucci and Lauren Hennessy. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Pictured: Sarah Matteucci and Lauren Hennessy. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

“The piece I enjoyed the most, simply because it made me laugh so much, was “Girlfriend Repair”…It’s fucking hilarious, aided by simply letter-perfect comic timing among the four actors, Justin Fuller, James Hunter, Anthony Perullo, and Craig Andrew Zisel…[Just Right] has a tremendous amount of emotional turmoil…Lauren Hennessy and Sarah Matteucci absolutely nail it, the former as the volatile jealous re-created Shira while the latter is the neurotic Nina…spectacular performances.” -KRAD’s Inaccurate Guide to Life

“Just Right by Mariah MacCarthy is brutal and deep – like watching a lit stick of dynamite that you know is going to go off at any second.” -Internet After Dark

Pictured: Alex Herrald, Mari Yamamoto, and Darcy Fowler. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Pictured: Alex Herrald, Mari Yamamoto, and Darcy Fowler. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Taisetsu Na Hito:

“The most disturbing piece of the evening. It was hilarious (a long diatribe about ham loaf was probably the funniest moment of the whole night) but the way the humor clashed with the emotional desolation of the two human characters made it truly vivid and unsettling.”

“A really fun piece, but what really makes it sing are the performances by Darcy Fowler, Alex Herrald, and the focused and precise animatronic-like performance of Mari Yamamoto.” -Internet After Dark

“It ends with a hilarious slow-mo montage of the couple venting their frustrations on each other, on the robot, and on the ham loaf (ham loaf is all over this piece). What really nails it is the mathematical precision with which Mari Yamamoto does the robot’s movements and speech patterns, along with her blank porcelain-doll stare, which contrasts beautifully with Alex Herrald as the the beaten-down husband and Darcy Fowler as the emotionally unstable wife.” -KRAD’s Inaccurate Guide to Life

“Fowler and Herrald were hysterical as an unhappy repressed married couple who were bursting with bottled-up emotions.  Yamamoto captured the slow, precise movements of the current generation of robots, and she delivered Winkler’s excessively polite Japanese dialogue with vacuous subservience.” -Theater for Nerds

Pictured: Diana Oh and Nicko Libowitz. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Pictured: Diana Oh and Nicko Libowitz. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

A Real Boy:

“Easily the sweetest work of the evening—with real heart, and great chemistry between human Zora and her robot Robert.”

“Zutter’s A Real Boy, with its data-crunching, jealousy-generating android gigolo tallying his patron’s flesh-and-blood partners, is a perceptive parody of the scores we keep on lovers.” -Fanchild

“A wonderful examination of the frustrations of dating…the climax (ahem) works superbly, and Nicko Libowitz plays Robert magnificently (he’s a hilarious combination of the “fully functional” version of Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Kryten from Red Dwarf). Also the entire evening was worth it for Robert’s line during the sex: “When you squeeze my cock, I short-circuit a little.”” -KRAD’s Inaccurate Guide to Life

“Required some stellar performers, and it has that in spades with Nicko Libowitz and Diana Oh commanding the stage.” -Internet After Dark

Pictured: Albert Andrew Garcia. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Pictured: Albert Andrew Garcia. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Make Your Bed in Hell:

“Remarkably performed, especially by Natasha Yannacañedo conveying a lifetime of hurt and exasperation in a few minutes of conflict with a disappointing loved one.” -Fanchild

“A nice variation on the evening’s theme.” -KRAD’s Inaccurate Guide to Life

Pictured: Jennifer Harder. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

Pictured: Jennifer Harder. Photo by Kacey Stamats.

My Fantasy Sex Robot Came in the Mail Today:

“Belies its literal title with layers of delicate feeling and honest eros. Bowes is touching as an isolated but reflective fanboy, and Jennifer Harder is an elemental presence as his transitory lover, her motions writing a kinetic treatise on the expectations programmed onto women in her character’s assumption of roles and poses for his pleasure and her sad uncertainty when he makes the most baffling of demands, that she be herself.” -Fanchild

“The anchor of the night for a good reason. Its open heartfelt sentimentality took some massive courage to both put down on paper and perform for a live audience.” -Internet After Dark

“The polar opposite of the traditional sexbot premise…touching.” -Theater for Nerds

Curator and playwright Mariah MacCarthy talks Sex With Robots on “Go See a Show” podcast

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