Can computers write hit musicals? At this London theater, we’ll soon find out

Computers are increasingly pushing the bounds that have long separated them from humans, but so far their theatrical capabilities have remained largely untested. That may soon change, however, thanks to a new production slated to debut early next year at London’s Arts Theatre. “Beyond the Fence” is not only “a powerful new musical about hope, defiance, unity and love,” in its creators’ words, but also an experimental production that was born as a collaboration among humans and computers. The goal is “to see what’s possible,” said Cat Gale, producer and director with Wingspan Productions, which designed and coordinated the experiment. “As it’s never been done before, we didn’t know what to expect, and in terms of an audience response to the show itself, we won’t until it opens.”


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