Table Read: Highrise by Jacob Kay
Pepperjack, a technician working within the futuristic Highrise building, is troubled by their lack of interaction with others, along with their scattered memories. They have their AI helper, Cassandra, for company, and Pepperjack enjoys their conversations, but they yearn for a different kind of connection; a connection with the outside. Through Pepperjack and Cassandra, this play explores isolation, communication & memory, in both an organic and artificial sense. Pepperjack begins to have horrible dreams, finds themself unable to remember too much or remember nothing and obsesses over what lies outside the Highrise, all whilst Cassandra encourages them to continue as normal. Pepperjack becomes paranoid around Cassandra, as he begins to doubt her motives, and her need to observe their every move. This conflict reaches a volcanic crescendo as Pepperjack goes rogue, and Cass desperately tries to bring them back from the edge, all whilst Pepperjack's mind is thrown into a frenzy; do they remember everything? Nothing? Or both?
Pepperjack has a schedule. A rather strict schedule. They toil away at the many mechanisms in the Highrise with only their AI assistant Cassandra for company. It's not that Pepperjack doesn’t enjoy their conversations, but they wait eagerly for the day the people come back, and the ability to see the outside again. Highrise explores memory, isolation and communication as Pepperjack begins to doubt not only their surroundings, but whether their own cognitive process has been skewed. Are they remembering correctly? Are they remembering at all?
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