The Gizmo: a handheld device that acts as a phone, connects to the Internet and revolutionized communication.
This device was nothing more than a futuristic idea at the time "Ctrl+Alt+Delete" was written more than 10 years ago by Anthony Clarvoe.
The Clarence Brown Theatre will now bring this play to life in a time where this "gizmo" is a part of everyday technology. "Ctrl+Alt+Delete" is a satire on commercialism, greed and corporate ambition, according to director Terry Silver Alford.
"It's a very human story," Alford said, professor of musical theater performance, introduction to theater and acting. "It's about real people. How they function and utilize the business world is a very creative thing."
Terry Weber, who plays Gus Belmont, the capitalist investment banker of "Ctrl+Alt+Delete," said since the play was written in a time where a cell phone was simply used to make calls, it is timely for the generation the audience grew up in.
"(This generation) will appreciate that while the play was being written, there was no assurance that a device like this would come in to existence," said Weber, an associate professor of theatre, "and now here we are on the other side and it very much did happen."
For the actors in the play, it was a more personal experience as each actor grew up at the same time as the rise of the cell phone.
"A lot of the technology we use in our play is the same cell phone my mom used years ago," said Ethan Roeder, junior in College Scholars. "It's like the ideas the people had were what we have now: the smart phones. But I never thought about anything more than being able to make a call.
"It's really cool to see how they had the idea so many years ago."
Roeder plays the role of Tom Zerox, who he said is a symbol of business families that carry a negative image. Zerox pulls away and tries to make a name for himself in this play, which brings to light some of the bigger issues "Ctrl+Alt+Delete" touches on.
"There are people out there who are going to lie, cheat and fake their way to the top," Roeder said. "That's part of the business world ... I think this play helps enlighten the audience to the fact that you can persevere even in the face of all this big business and greed and I think that's really important because it's easy to forget that."
Weber describes his character, Belmont, as a cross between Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Weber hopes, through his character, to leave the audience with a better understanding of the correct way to handle power.
"From my character's perspective, I would want the audience to take away the idea that one must be very careful in terms of what one thinks one can do under one's own power," Weber said. "There is a level of egomania that could be very dangerous. So I want the audience to come away thinking, 'What is the danger level of ego?'"
Weber is acting with all undergraduate students in "Ctrl+Alt+Delete," which is one factor that sets this production apart from most Clarence Brown Theatre productions. Weber said there was not a big difference in working with seasoned professionals and the undergraduate students of UT.
"Sometimes there is just a level of craft that just takes years to develop," Weber said, "but in terms of preparation, intellect and talent that goes into it, these young people are doing wonderful."
Alford, who has directed multiple plays, said "Ctrl+Alt+Delete" holds the high standards of the Clarence Brown Theatre.
"The audience will really like it because it is very high quality," Alford said. "The kids are very professional and it will look as good as all of our productions do. It is very well produced and very well acted. I think the audience will really enjoy it."
"Ctrl+Alt+Delete" opens Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and will run until Nov. 10 in the Clarence Brown's Lab Theatre. Tickets are $5 for UT students, $12 for non-UT students and $15 for adults.