top of page
  • Angela Allyn

Beautiful and Difficult Sci Fi at Raven

The world premiere of Paul Michael Thompson’s complex meditation on humanity’s potential future brother sister cyborg space now on at Raven Theatre is physically gorgeous and intellectually challenging. It takes on a lot: a contemplation of the vastness and beauty of the  universe, the collapse of earth’s ecosystem, the ascendance of AI into corporeality, the astounding wealth and power of current tech billionaires, and what do we owe our family– all this in a densely rendered 90 minutes.

Elon (Matt Bowdren) is bailing on Earth as a home and assembling his wealth and contacts for  a space age Noah’s Ark adventure to colonize the Moon and Mars.  His assistant is virtual, an artificial intelligence called Ava, played by Charence Higgins.   Ava alerts him that his sister Giselle (Brittney Brown) is in his bunker: she is on the run and needs to hide out because she is an environmental social justice activist who has done something big.  Giselle is a socialist and political liberal who wants to help humanity. Elon, not so much, wanting to abandon the planet since as he sees it, nature is eliminating the human race. He desperately wants his sister along on the mission, but his motivation is more to preserve the family bloodline, a concept that disgusts Giselle.  While Elon is out of the room, Ava becomes embodied, and Giselle helps her blast off to be with her “ family”: AI’s at the other stations. 

This show asks so many questions and does not answer them, but these are questions that we all should be asking ourselves. 

Elon and Giselle are similar in that they both are looking at a big picture, but their pictures do not agree, and though they do love each other as evidenced by them turning to each other when it all goes down, their world views may never come to peace. 

I loved this play while simultaneously being terrified by it.   I need to see it again, and I may need to read it: there is so much here and it goes so fast, and as I noted, these are issues for right now: this winter’s weather has made me wonder whether we have passed a kind of tipping point for the planet.  

The set by Steven Abbott is lovely: the projections created by Michael Salvatore Commendatore partner with it to give this bunker a window to the universe and the images a vast span in time and space. 

brother sister cyborg space is now at the Raven Theatre, 6157 North Clark Street in Chicago Thursdays through Sundays until March 17, 2024.  For tickets and more information go to 

Photo by Michael Brosilow


  For more reviews go to

78 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page