Cover image by Susie Kirkwood


Mark Chrisler, ELIZA, and PARRY

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Persecuted gay British codebreaker Alan Turing helped develop the first computers and an empirical test for artificial intelligence and other minds. To write about him, the author enlisted the two 1970's robots, ELIZA and PARRY, who first challenged Turing's test. Together with the author, ELIZA and PARRY have written their tribute to Turing: a dark meditation on whether and in what forms our minds really exist.

Production Info

Cast: 2 total (2 male)
Full Length Comedy (about 50 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“Mark Chrisler credits ELIZA and PARRY as his coauthors on IMPOSTERS, and their influence is undeniably apparent. ELIZA and PARRY were two ‘chatterbots’: computer programs, dating from 1966 and 1972, respectively, that could generate primitive forms of conversation. Their idiosyncrasies — including ELIZA’s tendency to turn everything into a question and PARRY’s preoccupation with Mob involvement in horse racing — gradually invade a dialogue between the tragic British computer genius Alan Turing and an interrogator called Nicolas Bourbaki (which is also the nom de plume of a group of mathematicians who specialized in set theory), raising the question of whether Turing and Bourbaki are human … [What emerges is ] a surprisingly vivid sense of anguish as Turing seems to go off program and, well, raise the question of whether he’s human.” —Tony Adler, Chicago Reader

About the Author


  • Mark Chrisler

    Mark Chrisler's plays have been produced in New York, Chicago, London, San Francisco, New Orleans, and throughout the US, as well as in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He has been presented or developed at such places as The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Stella Adler Studio, The San Francisco Playhouse, Ilkhom Theatre, Four Humours Theatre, The Side Project, Springboard Theatre, The New York International Fringe Festival, Curious Theatre Branch and many more. He is the author of over ten full-length and solo plays in addition to nearly a hundred short plays. He received his MFA in dramatic writing from Ohio University and his BA in theater arts from Northern Illinois University. He is the recipient of many awards and honors, including a Newberry Library Fellowship, a special Orgie Award, a NAPAT New Play Award and the Best Emerging Playwright of 2010 award from The Chicago Reader. He lives in Chicago with his wife, where he serves as a resident playwright for Found Objects Theatre Group, an Artistic Associate for Prop Thtr and teaches playwriting for Silk Road Rising Theatre.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 8/21/2015
Pages 112
ISBN 9780881456059

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:
The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Imposters is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC