Atlas, the Lonely Gibbon

ATLAS, THE LONELY GIBBON is a dark comedic thriller set in the future. Irene, a 28-year-old journalist, has recently had her job downgraded to editing AI (Artificial Intelligence)-generated articles. Her husband, David, is a cybercrime journalist, a niche that has kept him employed in a dying journalism field. Irene becomes alienated by technologies he introduces into their home for work that possess a...
ATLAS, THE LONELY GIBBON is a dark comedic thriller set in the future. Irene, a 28-year-old journalist, has recently had her job downgraded to editing AI (Artificial Intelligence)-generated articles. Her husband, David, is a cybercrime journalist, a niche that has kept him employed in a dying journalism field. Irene becomes alienated by technologies he introduces into their home for work that possess a sometimes comforting, but creepy and increasingly dangerous presence. Because of David’s job, their apartment is targeted by hackers and their everyday household appliances (all connected to the internet) have been turning on them. This is particularly challenging for Irene, because she now works from home. To cope with her challenging marriage and increasingly threatening space, Irene fixates on a VR (virtual reality) show about an isolated ape at a monkey sanctuary. David introduces a set of lifelike bionic arms into their home and Irene’s world is shaken when the arms take on a life of their own; instead of calling her husband, she begins a new type of relationship. ATLAS, THE LONELY GIBBON explores where we’re heading as a society and the complex benefits and destructive possibilities of a fully wired world.
  • Recommend
  • Download
  • Save to Reading List

Atlas, the Lonely Gibbon

Recommended by

  • David Templeton:
    18 Jul. 2022
    One of those plays I read through in one sitting, then started over again to see how it reads once you know everything that's actually going on. And the second experience is as entertaining, intense and funny as the first. As a working journalist and a playwright myself, I can say that Yarchun's vision of the future, while layered with genuine affection and humor to soften (some of) the blows, is frighteningly spot-on, and often feels not-so-futuristic at all.
  • Conor McShane:
    16 Jun. 2022
    I'm sure I'm not the only one who has this sense that, the more connected and integrated we make our lives, the more vulnerable we are. This play taps into some very relatable fears around the accelerated pace of technological progress, while at the same time diving into even more relatable fears of being replaced, of disconnecting from each other, of being alone in an increasingly changing world. It's tense, it's funny, it's deeply human, and has one of the most chilling final moments I've read in quite some time.
  • Cheryl Bear:
    10 Jul. 2021
    In the dying world of journalism, can these two make it through as they battle technology? Thought provoking and well done.

Character Information

  • Man's Voice
    30,
    Male
  • Irene
    28,
    Female
    A former journalist. Now works from home editing AI-generated articles. Anxious. Trying to gain solid ground with a downgraded version of her job.
  • David
    28,
    Male
    Irene’s husband. A cybercrime journalist. Gets caught in his head easily. Has a wry sense of humor.
  • Atona
    Ageless,
    Female or Non-binary
    Like Alexa. The voice of just about everything in the apartment. Can be played by the actress who plays April.
  • April
    27,
    Female
    Irene’s close friend. Starting to date again after a recent breakup. Eager and excited. A little self-involved.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Clamour Theatre Company
    ,
    2021
  • Reading
    ,
    Walking Shadow Reader Theater
    ,
    2021
  • Reading
    ,
    Centenary Stage Company
    ,
    2021
  • Residency
    ,
    Marble House Project
    ,
    2021
  • Residency
    ,
    HBMG Foundation
    ,
    2020

Awards

Finalist
,
Neukom Literary Arts Award for Playwriting
,
Dartmouth College
,
2021
Finalist
,
Seven Devils Playwrights Conference
,
Id Theater
,
2021
Finalist
,
National Playwrights Conference
,
O'Neill
,
2021