By Michael Golamco. Directed by Lisa Mallette.
Jan. 22-Feb. 22, 2015. Scroll down for details and special events!
Listen to the Fanboy Planet podcast interview with Build playwright and Grimm writer Michael Golamco.


Why you should see Build

Because video game developers should be the heroes of plays far more often.
Because this fresh new show is being presented in Northern California for the first time.
Because playwright Michael Golamco is also a writer for TV’s Grimm, and he knows his dialogue.
Because City Lights is using cool new technology to make the A.I. character come to life onstage.
Because the Tetris monologue is a thing of beauty.


Max Tachis, left, and George Psarras play hotshot game developers. Photos by Mike Ko /


Meet the current hotshots in video game design: Will is the sellout, a well-attired, Ferrari-driving office-hound; Kip is keeping it real, working from home in a bathrobe and three-day beard. Together, they’re working on the sequel to their virally popular video game — but Kip is more interested in the creative potential of his game engine, and in the female Artificial Intelligence that he has developed on the sly. (Never mind that this sexy and insightful AI looks just like Kip’s late wife.) This Northern California Premiere explores the conflicting perceptions of engineering as art, and engineering as business — and the overriding notion that love is the code that makes sense of it all.


Morgan Voellger as the elusive A.I. who was built in secret.



Kip: George Psarras*
Will: Max Tachis
The A.I.: Morgan Voellger

* Member, Actors’ Equity Association

What people are saying about our production

“Hits pretty darn close to home, deftly zeroing in on this region’s most unique, quirky, and captivating elements: wealth, greed, compassion, ego, narcissism, and desire for community.”  -Clinton Stark, Stark Insider

“Quite simply, Build is excellent. It shines with a well-written, intriguing script and superb acting, and is a must-see for local theater lovers.”  –Metro

“Yes, there are a lot of geeky things in this play, but you don’t have to understand all the tech to be in on the warm wit and humor of the play, or all the feels it has either. … It’s a relevant, fun, and surprisingly moving story, told really, really well.”  -Susannah Greenwood, Artsalot

“Thoroughly enthralling … Handsomely produced, marvelously played and skillfully directed.”  Paul Myrvold’s Theatre Notes

“Video designer Nick Kumamoto has worked wonders.”  -Darshana Nadkarni, blogger

“I hear the play’s Tetris monologue is truly a thing of beauty.”  -Mike Inouye, NBC Bay Area


Kip (George Psarras) has become a recluse since the loss of his wife, rarely leaving his house or bathrobe.


Details and special events

Performances: Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. One Wednesday show, on Feb. 18, at 8 p.m.
No performances on Jan. 25.

Tickets: $17-$32. Discounts for seniors and students/educators. Buy online and pay no fees! ($2 surcharge for phone and in-person purchases; closing weekend is also subject to a $2 increase.)

Thursday, Jan 22: Pay What You Can Night.
Friday, Jan. 23: Preview Night ($17).
Saturday, Jan. 24: Opening Night celebration: $35 general, $30 seniors, $19 students/educators.
Wednesday, Feb. 18: Our special Wednesday performance! General-admission tickets are $20.

Thursday, Feb. 12: On this night, we’ll donate 25 percent of proceeds from regular-priced single tickets to The Tech Museum of Innovation, our nonprofit partner for this production. Check out the Tech’s cool exhibit on wearable technology, Body Metrics!


The City Lights theater, located at 529 S. Second St. in downtown San Jose, is wheelchair-accessible. Secured parking is available on most nights for $5 at Notre Dame High School across the street from the theater. Call 408-295-4200 to check parking availability for your performance.