“The Curious Case of the Watson Intelligence” at Reno Little Theater

What happens when Artificial Intelligence becomes imperceptible with humanity?

~Review and Photos by Dana Nollsch~

The story of “The Curious Case of the Watson Intelligence” comes directly from our own advancements in the technology of A.I.  or Artificial intelligence.  The flow of this play is delightfully abstract as we follow Eliza (Played brilliantly by Emilie Meyer) searching for love as she follows her creative heart. There are several threads of history blended into the story, one of them being the 2011 win on Jeopardy by the I.B.M. computer, named “Watson”

The abstract aspect comes from the story moving through time finding the technical growth that leads to the A.I. creation that we are introduced to in the opening scene, Eliza’s very own “Watson” in her living room.  As her A.I. Watson grows and matures, she finds her human Watson opens her heart in ways that she could not have predicted. Add to this a fixated ex-husband and you have a story of love and the lessons of how our choices can take us away from where we should be.

As you can tell from the photos, the set is a wonderful treat of detail and simple complexity, even though the lighting was a bit rough at times (something I am sure will be sorted out by opening night). The details such as costuming and set pieces could not have been better and added to the feel of the story very well.

Now we get to the cast, there are only three members of this cast, and those three actors are fabulous in the roles they play.

Let’s start with Watson, Played by Adriano Cabral. There are four distinct versions of Watson and Adriano shifts from one to the other in a way that allows the audience to get to know each separate “Watson” as a friend would recognize someone they have known for years.




Now we have Emilie Meyer as Eliza, I would say that she plays her role with power and determination. At one point I felt my heart break for her character as she makes a choice that will later come back to haunt her.




James Mardock plays Merrick, James plays several Mardocks that we can plainly see are over their heads in their lives, but perhaps these several characters are blind to that fact. James pays these roles in a way that we as the audience find sympathy for the characters, but at the same time satisfaction in watching the internal drama brought about by the bad choices that these characters make.

All three of the cast members are brilliant on their own, but as they come together they add another layer the performance as a whole.

As I write this review I realize that I truly loved “The Curious Case of the Watson Intelligence” and especially the actor’s portrayals of their deeply complex characters.

Go see “The Curious Case of the Watson Intelligence” and let me know if you feel the same way.

“The Curious Case of the Watson Intelligence”  was written by Madeleine George and was a Finalist in the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Winner  2014 John Gassner Award, and made the 2014 Kilroys List


Directed by Libby Bakke

The cast:

Adriano Cabral as Watson

Emilie Meyer as Eliza

James Mardock as Merrick

The Crew:

Hannah Gebensleben – Stage Manager

Jesse Spooner – Costumes

Moira Bengochea – Props

“The Curious Case of the Watson Intelligence” plays at Reno Little Theater from May 4th to May 20th, 2018.

For more information on showtimes and tickets, check out  Reno Little Theater’s website: http://renolittletheater.org/


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