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Untitled Theater Company #61 and Evolve Company are collaborating to present The Boy Who Wanted to be a Robot and The Taste of Blue, two plays examining the conditions of autism and synesthesia, respectively. In both of the pieces, the protagonist is a child with a neurological condition, and the audience is invited to enter into that child’s world and experience that child’s experience. The plays are a playful examination of how the brain works, both for those of us who are “neurotypical” and for those who are not.
The Boy Who Wanted to be a Robot is a Pinocchio tale in reverse presented as a fairy tale from a foreign culture—the culture of people with Asperger’s Syndrome. Enacted by Barry Weil with a cast of puppets whose design is inspired by the work of artists with autism, the play follows the adventures of a boy who grows up surrounded by robots and then is at sea when he finds himself in a world of humans. He struggles for logic and order among people whose emotions are sometimes confusing to him.
The Taste of Blue is about a teenage girl who can taste color and see music. She has synesthesia, a condition in which the senses are mixed, a condition shared by many artists, from Kandinsky to Nabokov. Tanya Khordoc brings us into her world and shows us the incredible landscape within her mind.