Photos: My night at LIDA Project’s ‘R.U.R./lol’



By John Moore
Feb. 19, 2013

Opening No. 29: Denver’s oldest and really only true experimental theater company is the LIDA Project. Its newest original work, “R.O.R./lol,” picks up where Czech playwright Karel Capek’s 1920 science-fiction play “Rossum’s Universal Robots” ends. That play is actually  where  the word “robot” was introduced into the lexicon.

LIDA’s theatrical exploration is set “at the end of humanity,” and it’s up to four deliciously attractive fembots to protect what remains of the planet from catastrophe. I was stuck by the part when the desperate robots consider that perhaps the only way to save the world might be by “creating something new.” (I believe that was the same call to action in the Mark Rothko play “Red”). Capek always used scientific miracles as a means for affirming his faith in human values. But LIDA’s P.O.V. is, not surprisingly … somewhat more cynical (lol).

“R.U.R./lol” marks LIDA’s most ambitious multimedia effort to date, which is saying something. It features 13 live-feed projectors running in real time. The cast includes Laura Lounge, Hart DeRose, Heidi Pachner and Rhea Amos. Directed by Lorenzo Sariñana, who along with David Lafont, Tommy Sheridan, Kenrick Fischer, Dustin Lacy and Brian Freeland, play “Controllers.” Through March 2 at 2701 Lawrence St., 720-221-3821 or the LIDA Project’s home page. All photos by John Moore of www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks to Brian Freeland, cast and crew.

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The sign talks a good game, but the robots in the play really do sort of care about your fate, if not your petty feelings.


Backstage, actor robot Heidi Pachner helps castmate Lounge with her hairspray.


LIDA Project founder Brian Freeland prepares the machinery for one of his most ambitious technical undertakings to date.


Heidi Pachner gets ready to play. For much of the evening, the women playing the robots lie on their backs, as if docked. They each stare directly into a video camera that allows the audience to consider their enhanced, projected form in a compelling new way.

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By John Moore

Award-winning arts journalist John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the United States by American Theatre Magazine during has 12 years at The Denver Post. Hen then created a groundbreaking new media outlet covering Colorado arts an culture as an in-house, multimedia journalist for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He also founded The Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that has raised more than $600,000 for theatre artists in medical need. He is now a journalist for hire as the founder of Moore Media Colorado. You can find samples of his work at MooreJohn.Com. Contact him at