Theatre News

Hampstead Theatre announces full casting for AI drama anthropology

The play premieres in September

Yolanda Kettle, Myanna Buring, Dakota Blue Richards and Abigail Thaw
Yolanda Kettle, Myanna Buring, Dakota Blue Richards and Abigail Thaw, provided by venue

Hampstead Theatre has announced the full cast and creative team for the world premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s anthropology, running from 7 September to 14 October.

Directed by Anna Ledwich, the play is a thriller about a Silicon Valley software engineer who creates an AI version of her lost sister, which begins to reveal new details about her disappearance.

MyAnna Buring (A Very Expensive Poison, The Wasp) and Dakota Blue Richards (Arcadia, English Touring Theatre) will be joined by Yolanda Kettle (Patriots, Deep Blue Sea) and Abigail Thaw (The Strange Death of John Doe).

Gunderson said: “I began this play in 2022 a full year before the launch of ChatGPT and the rapid growth of AI that we see all around us now. Hampstead was the very first theatre I shared it with, and its truly exhilarating to meet this moment and bring this play to life with Anna Ledwich and our phenomenal cast and creative team.

“While anthropology is a rollercoaster of the contrasting tensions between technology and its creators, this play is truly a very human story of family, grief, resilience, love and sisterhood. The grounding thesis of this play is that all new technology – like all art – is first and foremost a method of expressing and coming to understand ourselves. Our tech tells us who we are long before we tell it what we want it to be.”

The creative team also includes designer Georgia Lowe, lighting designer James Whiteside, sound designer Max Pappenheim and video designer Daniel Denton. The casting director is Gabrielle Dawes.

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