5 things a robot taught me about acting

Watch video and read Assistant Professor Gray’s article on CNN →

By Matthew Gray, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Matthew Gray is an Assistant Professor of Theater at the College of Arts, Media and Design at Northeastern University. He teamed up with social roboticist Heather Knight to teach her robot, Data, the art of acting and gestures. You can see more of  Heather and Matthew’s training this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on the CNN show The Next List.

I’ve long aspired to put robots on stage, which is strange to say since the first appearance of a “robot” was on a stage.

The play, which was called “Rossum’s Universal Robots,” by the Capek Brothers, introduced the word ‘robot’ into the lexicon in 1920. Ever since, that word – and the themes of the play – have been embraced by science.

But not by art. At least until recently.

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