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B8 New Works Series presents THE MAN IN THE BOX
Cue Productions Live
Concord, CA
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B8 New Works Series presents THE MAN IN THE BOX
It's the return of the Butterfield 8 New Works Series!  This showcase will present staged readings of new works by local playwrights, and has featured several plays which have gone on to receive full productions.


François Orphelin is a socially retarded but brilliant chess player, who has endeavored to use chess his whole life to gain status and respect in a world that disdains a man of illegitimate birth. Lured by Maelzel, a man who owns an automaton called the Turk and arranges paid performances to the public, François is hired to direct the automaton.

Inside the device, François must learn to behave like a machine. At first, he embraces the idea of the Turk as the perfect place to hide his past, and a mask to hide his human frailties. But through the many hours of practice and performance inside the device, François discovers he has been stripped of his fame, his freedom, and his very identity. The Turk has usurped ownership of his human abilities and skills. François realizes he can no longer discern his true self from the automaton and finds himself in a battle for his life with the very puppet he operates.

The play takes place in the mid 1800's on the brink of the industrial revolution in a time when mechanized tools are beginning to replace human labor. It involves the real case scenario of the Turk (circa 1769), a chess-playing automaton that was eventually revealed to be a hoax.

Butterfield 8 Theatre Company's New Works Series
presents a staged reading of
by Jean Butterfield
Directed by the Author
July 26-28, 2013



Cue Productions Live (View)
1835 Colfax St.
Concord, CA 94520
United States


Arts > Theatre

Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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