Allison Reich of Fairfield explores boundaries between Man and Machine in ‘Frankenstein 2029’

The newly released movie Victor Frankenstein is again stirring interest in Mary Shelley’s literary masterpiece. Lafayette College students, including Allison Reich of Fairfield, class of 2015, understand the world’s fascination with this timeless tale.

They recently created Frankenstein 2029, an audacious theater and art performance based on Shelley’s novel that was also an interdisciplinary exploration of the eroding boundaries between man and machine — and its implications for both the definition and direction of humanity.

Sprawling through eight venues on Lafayette’s Williams Arts Campus, more than 80 students, faculty, staff and community members fused their expertise in art, chemistry, computer science, engineering, English, neuroscience, theater, women’s and gender studies and more to bring the production to life. See full list.

Part of the semester-long project included an immersion into the mind of the brilliant, mad Victor Frankenstein himself and his Victor NeuroTech lab. Their ultimate product launch is the Creature itself, which came to life several times throughout each performance. Other students and staff created SAViN (Society Against Victor NeuroTech) to warn of the dangers of unbridled technology, and voiced their concerns as picket wielding protestors during the shows.

“With this production, we tackled the big, transcendent questions facing us all: the nature of humanity’s connectivity, the impact of socio-economic and gender inequalities, the ethics of extending life, and most especially technology’s current and future role in our lives,” says art professor Ed Kerns. “How will we be changed, individually, collectively, by these issues?”

View, share images of the cast, crew and performances: https://flic.kr/p/rZidMh Learn more: http://sites.lafayette.edu/frankenstein2029/.

Lafayette is a top liberal arts college with 2,400 students and 215 full-time faculty that offers a wide variety of undergraduate degree programs including engineering.

With close proximity to New York City and Philadelphia, Lafayette has one of the highest endowment-per-student rates in the nation. This means ample resources to fuel student research, and provide opportunities for study abroad, internships and field work. It means outstanding facilities, Division I sports, and funding for 250 student groups on one of the most beautiful campuses in the country.

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