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.
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Atlas, the Lonely Gibbon

Recommended by

  • Doug DeVita:
    28 Sep. 2020
    Deborah Yarchun's cautionary ATLAS, THE LONELY GIBBON paints a pretty terrifying picture of where we're headed in our increasingly tech-dependent world; among many lines that resonate, this one stood out for me: "You know, what’s wrong with using a switch with a lightbulb? With turning a key? With touching things?"

    Disturbing, funny, and brilliant, this play needs to be produced and seen. And for once, I'm beginning to see the benefits of being a luddite.
  • Sarah Cho:
    1 Sep. 2020
    What a brilliantly funny play! I highly recommend reading this deeply thoughtful and imaginative play. The play taps into themes of technology, virtual reality, and more importantly, human connections. Deborah knows how to make our relationship to technology theatrical. As a reader, I really connected with the world at a visceral level. I could also imagine designers and Prop masters having a field day with this. Read this play!!

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

  • Residency
    ,
    HBMG Foundation
    ,
    2020