Gideon Productions presents at The Sheen Center:

Universal Robots

Written by Mac Rodgers
Directed by Jordana Williams

June 3–26, 2016

Black Box Theater


"Quiet, intense, funny, affecting." - The New York Times

"Director Jordana Williams demonstrates an ability to unfurl world-changing plots on a small budget." - The New Yorker

"Universal Robots is impressive... truly multivalent and rich." - Time Out NY

"Anyone who enjoys intimate theatre... will surely get their money’s worth." - Theater Is Easy

"When they announce the nominees for best play on the Tonys... Universal Robots should be on that list." - Show Showdown

"The production takes place in the spectacular Sheen Center for Thought and Culture. Director Jordana Williams has her cast make full use of the exquisite space.” - City of Kik

Offering a compelling alternate history of the twentieth century, imagining the invention of the robot in 1921 and chronicling the shocking consequences of that invention, Universal Robots is part science fiction thriller, part political allegory and part love story masterpiece written by Mac Rogers and produced by the award-winning theater company Gideon Productions.

The Great War has just ended. The fledgling Republic of Czechoslovakia boasts a thriving artistic community. At the center of that community is Karel Capek, a celebrated playwright and a passionate advocate for all his newborn nation can achieve. But this brave new world arrives faster that Karel could have ever expected when a young woman walks into his life with a strange mannequin in a wheelchair... a mannequin that gets up and walks all by itself.  UNIVERSAL ROBOTS offers a compelling alternate history of the Twentieth Century, imagining the invention of the robot in 1921 Czechosolvakia and chronicling the shocking consequences of that invention right up to the present day. Part science fiction thriller, part love story, part political allegory, UNIVERSAL ROBOTS is a fast-paced, riveting story of war, faith, art and technology that culminates, in the words of NYTheatre's Martin Denton, in an "edge-of-your-seat finish equal to the best storytelling of stage and screen."

GIDEON PRODUCTIONS crafts gripping plays that explore human grace and darkness, through the kaleidescope of popular genre forms and other cultural touchstones. We reject the notion that thrills are cheap or that big ideas are boring. We explore what’s strange about being human and what’s human about being strange, using thrilling entertainment as a delivery system for challenging stories that take on religion, sexuality, politics, compulsion, popular culture, and the often strange bonds that tie people together in a rapidly changing world. We honor the time our audiences and collaborators devote to our productions and seek to deliver the utmost quality in experience and content.



Nikki Andrews-Ojo, Greg Oliver Bodine*, Hanna Cheek*, Jorge Cordova*, Tandy Cronyn*, Neimah Djourabchi*, Jason Howard*, Tarantino Smith*, Sara Thigpen*, and Brittany N. Williams* *denotes appearing courtesy Actors' Equity Association

Special Performances:

Sunday, June 12 - Family support, Teaching artists taking care of kids
Thursday, June 23 - Interpreted for the Deaf
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Accessible Performances

We are thrilled to offer a variety of accessible performances for our upcoming production of Universal Robots. Over the course of the run, we will be offering an ASL Interpreted Performance, an Audio Described Performance, and a Family Support Matinee.

Find out more about each performance below. To reserve a seat for one of these performances, please email Sean Williams at

If you have any questions about one of our accessible performances or have a group who may be interested in attending, email Mikell Kober at

ASL Interpreted Performances

On Thursday, June 23 at 8pm, two certified sign language interpreters will be providing a sign language interpreted performance of Universal Robots.  Please reserve seats here.

Family Support Matinee

On Sunday, June 12th from 2:00pm- 4:30pm, we will run theater workshops for 4-12 year olds led by experienced teaching artists. While parents are enjoying Universal Robots, children will be getting their own introduction to the arts, allowing the whole family to experience a day of theater. To register your children for this workshop, please select “Parents’ Ticket” when you reserve your tickets for the performance. You will be contacted by a member of Gideon’s staff to set up your child’s spot.