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ZEN AND THE ART OF AN ANDROID BEATDOWN Opens Book-It's Hybrid Season This Month

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The production is available to stream or download beginning October 12.

ZEN AND THE ART OF AN ANDROID BEATDOWN Opens Book-It's Hybrid Season This Month

Book-It Repertory Theatre (Book-It) is pleased to present ZEN AND THE ART OF AN ANDROID BEATDOWN, the first show in its 2021-2022 season of plays, available to stream or download beginning October 12. This searing short story by acclaimed contemporary author Tochi Onyebuchi (he/him) delves into the intricacies of identity and who gets to decide what that means for you. Adapted and directed by Book-It favorite, Gin Hammond (she/her), this story is the perfect vehicle for her audio drama expertise and creativity.

"I am a theater artist who has developed a love for the marriage of technology and story-telling," says Hammond, "It is particularly important to me to create work which honors the uniqueness and intelligence of each individual."

Onyebuchi's use of androids to expose human truth, and pitfalls, is tailor-made for Hammond's artistry. In the story: Cecile dreams of falling, but her work on the android keeps her grounded. She works to keep him safe, to improve his speed and stamina so that he can continue boxing with minimal risk. But this isn't what he wants. He needs to feel the pain of getting hit to know that he is real, that he is himself and not just a series of recycled chips, code and battered parts. She can't know his heart. She never asks. Without being able to help herself, these efforts to protect him may cost her the secret she holds most dear.

Artistic Director Gus Menary (he/him) couldn't wait to add Onyebuchi to Book-It's line-up, saying, "Zen and the Art of an Android Beatdown is a hugely exciting story with a deeply philosophical core that asks us one of life's greatest questions: What makes us human? This, in its essence, is a hallmark of great Science Fiction. Like Asimov's I, Robot or Philip K. Dicks Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, we see ourselves reflected in our own creation-a creation that asks us for recognition."

The cast includes Mandy Rose Nichols (they/them) as Cecile, Tim Gouran (he/him) as Boxer, Annette Toutonghi (she/her) as Brianne, Arlando Smith (he/him) as Boxers #2 & #4/Bayou Android, Jesse Calixto (he/him) as Tom/Referee/Electrocuted Android/Boxer #3 and Mia Morris (she/her) as Pilot Android. Sound design was created by Impossible Acoustic, with Brendan J. Hogan (he/him) and Paul Eric Miller (he/him) designing. Rosemary Jones (she/her) was the rehearsal stage manager. Audio engineering was done by Benjamin Radin (he/him) and Kyle Thompson (he/him). The Audio Book-It theme music was composed and performed by Leanna Keith (she/they).

ZEN AND THE ART OF AN ANDROID BEATDOWN Opens Book-It's Hybrid Season This Month


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