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ABOUT

IT’S ALL INSIDE YOUR HEAD. BUT IS ANY OF IT REAL?

Inspired by both historical and current lab research, Theater of the Mind takes you on an immersive journey inside how we see and create our worlds. Co-created by Talking Heads frontman and artist David Byrne and writer Mala Gaonkar, the show uses stories from their own lives to shape a narrative you’ll see, feel, taste and hear.

Witness the wonders of your mind for yourself as you follow The Guide through a spectacular 15,000-square-foot installation with 16 fellow audience members. As you explore intriguing environments, participate in a narrative and try a series of sensory experiments, your Guide will question how beliefs, memories and even our identities are less fixed than we think.

Caution: the brain may wander. Side effects may include a distrust of your own senses, a disorientation of self, and a mild to severely good time. You may not be who you think you are. But we’re all in it together.

A NOTE FROM CO-CREATOR DAVID BYRNE

Mala and I have been fascinated by the science behind these experiences for a number of years, and though reading about the phenomena involved is exciting, I sensed that it’s one thing to read about something and quite something else to actually experience it. An experience is a different level of understanding and a different kind of knowledge—it’s visceral, immediate and profound. The film and theater adage “show, don’t tell” became a guiding principle in discovering a way to include these experiences in an entertaining and engaging show. A show in which the audience makes many of the inferences for themselves, without being told by us what it means.

For me, the broader implications that these phenomena have in our lives, our sense of the world and our sense of self is key. We decided that a kind of narrative, the life of The Guide, told backwards, might be a way to connect these experiences to our daily living… and it might introduce an emotional connection as well. We began referring to the project as a Neuro Funhouse, but as we worked on it we came to realize that it was evolving to be something more than that. It has made us rethink some of our own beliefs and assumptions, to see ourselves and the world in a different way, and we hope that it might have a similar effect on our audience.

David Byrne

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Theater of the Mind is supported in part by Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation.

This project has been funded in part by a grant from the Colorado Tourism Office.

Additional support from Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.