The Turing Test
April 19, 2017 § Leave a comment
When I was in college, I wrote a lot. It was part and parcel with the program I was in, the now-defunct conservatory of dramatic writing at SUNY Purchase. It was a wonderful program – only 20 of us to start, and we spent all our classes together, writing, workshopping, writing, watching plays, watching movies and TV, writing, writing, writing.
The Turing Test was one of the last plays I wrote at school, and I’m still proud of it. There are a few lines I’d tweak, here and there, but overall, I like it. I’ve sent it out a few times to one-act festivals, but nothing much came of it.
It’s kinda pretentious, though I didn’t mean for it to be. I was a college student in a conservatory though, so pretension is sort of part and parcel with the breed.
Anyway, since nothing much came of it and I’d love to share more of my writing, I thought I’d put this on offer. On the off chance you like it and would like to put it on somewhere, reach out to me.
The Turing Test
The Turing Test by M. Barree tells the parallel stories of Alan Turing, famed mathematician and cryptanalyst, and WISE, a self-aware “synthetic”. The play explores the past, the future, love, and – most importantly – humanity.
The Future: WISE is a synthetic human, one of many originally created in service to humanity. After the synthetics have risen up against their organic counterparts, only WISE and one enemy soldier, Jacob Ramirez, are left alive to continue waging war on one another. With the absence of the organics, and the advent of many new and strange feelings, WISE begins to wonder what separates herself from her enemy.
The Past: Alan Turing is a hero of England, lauded for is work in World War II. He is also homosexual, which leads him to be shunned by his homeland and his community. One of Turing’s many contributions to the fields of mathematics and computing is the Turing Test, which analyzes the capabilities of a machine to express human-like intelligence. While Turing grapples with his own identity and self-acceptance, his contributions continue on and provide the framework for the ultimate question – what does it mean to be human?