The Cube was an avant-garde drama written by Jerry Juhl and Jim Henson for television. It aired on NBC as part of the anthology series Experiment in Television on February 23, 1969. The program was rebroadcast two years later, on February 21, 1971.
The hour-long piece takes place within a single set: a white, cubed space composed of a series of rectangular panels, in which the nameless protagonist is trapped. A steady stream of characters enter the cube, with recurring visits by the maintenance man Arnie and Mr. Thomas the manager, but they all exit through "their own door." Some visitors seem to know the man or want to offer advice and all are generally unhelpful to the man as he tries to unravel the mystery of where he is, how he got there, and how he can leave.
Topics explored include the definitions of reality and sanity, racism, sexuality, spiritual exploration, and the nature of freedom and being trapped, as well as many metatheatrical references to the play's status as a television drama.
The Cube can currently be purchased and rented via the iTunes Store.
- Jerry Nelson appears as a monk, to provide spiritual comfort to the man. The monk tells him that "All is all. Is is." This line would be repeated almost twenty years later by Cantus the Minstrel in an episode of Fraggle Rock.
- NBC's Experiment in Television had previously broadcast Jim Henson's documentary Youth '68.
- During the encounter with the professor, discussing television drama, the joke credits for The Cube, displayed on a TV set within the main scene, show "Produced by: Don Sahlin" and "Directed by: Joseph Raposo."
- Excerpts from the guitarist's song, prior to the negative "you'll never get out" passage, were included in the 2005 book It's Not Easy Being Green. The audiobook version had Jerry Nelson reading the lines.
- In 2007, the Glassbooth Company performed a live stage production of "The Cube" at Germany's Freies Theater entitled "Kubus".
- Jerry Juhl makes an on-screen cameo in a projected party scene, and joins in on a conversation (presumably about The Cube), adding that he didn't care for the ending.
- The Man in The Cube: Richard Schaal
- Arnie: Hugh Webster
- Manager: Rex Sevenoaks
- Prisoner: Jack Van Evera
- Straight Man & Sergeant: Jon Granic
- Comic & Fritz: Guy Sanvido
- Seductress: Eliza Creighton
- Black Militant: Don Crawford
- Scientist: William Osler
- Monk: Jerry Nelson
- Decorator: Sandra Scott
- Dr. Conners: Claude Rae
- Professor: Don McGill
- Guitarist: Ralph Endersby
- Liza 1: Trudy Young
- Liza 2: Ruth Springford
- Father-in-law & Dr. Bingham: Moe Margolese
- Mother-in-law & Mrs. Stratton: Alice Hill
- Margaret: Loro Farell
- Dr. Bradowski & Old Man: Eric Clavering
- Nurse: Jean Christopher
- Written by: Jim Henson, Jerry Juhl
- Directed by Jim Henson
- Produced by Jim Henson
- Casting: Pat Barney
- Set Design: Jack McAdam of Design Service Associates
- Electronic Music: Walter Sear
- Associate Producer: David Robertson
- Production Assistant: Joan Chilcott
- Unit Manager: Jack Spiers
- Floor Director: Gerry Bean
- Make-up: Carol Davidson, Janet Nethercot
- Set Dressing: David Jaquest, Gerry Holmes
- Hairstyles: Max Axler
- Technical Director: Jay Gellner
- Lighting Director: Howard Galbraith
- Audio: John Grimsditch
- Video: Percy Brinkworth
- Video Tape Editing: Keith Robinson, Ed Brennan
- Production Facilities: Glen-Warren Productions Limited, Toronto