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Mala Gaonkar and David Byrne
Mala Gaonkar and David Byrne
Catalina Kulczar

David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar Premiere Theater of the Mind in Denver

Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and writer Mala Gaonkar will premiere their immersive production, Theater of the Mind, with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Off-Center in August.

Theater of the Mind, a 15,000-square-foot experience, inspired by both historical and current lab research, takes audience members on an immersive journey inside how we see and create our worlds.

“We are so pleased to be premiering Theater of the Mind in Denver with such wonderful partners at the DCPA. Off-Center is nationally admired for its immersive work, and they have the skill and experience to bring this complex production to life and the committed audience who will appreciate it,” says Byrne in a statement. “I have long had an interest in creating something that incorporated the sensory experiments we often read about in a way that was entertaining and engaging but still gave people an experience that was visceral and profound.”

Charlie Miller, Off-Center curator, adds, “As a theater producer, I always hope that a production can positively impact an audience and give people a new perspective, but that’s often difficult to achieve. Theater of the Mind allows every audience member to experience the world in a new way through its groundbreaking combination of science, design and storytelling. I am delighted that Off-Center gets to bring this one-of-a-kind project to life, and can’t wait to share what’s cooking in David and Mala’s brilliant minds with Denver next summer.”

In researching the piece, Gaonkar and Byrne partnered with several cognitive-neuroscience labs to explore how some of the most basic human intuitions make people behave.

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“What we concluded was the experiments and ideas of the labs we partnered with, several of which we embedded in our narrative, seemed as engaging as any piece of theater," Gaonkar says in a statement. "Theater of the Mind will challenge the ever-changing reality written in our minds, and I am thrilled for audiences to think of science and theater in a new way.”

Theater of the Mind will open in August 2020. The full performance schedule and ticket sales will be announced at a later date. To sign up to receive more information, visit theateroftheminddenver.com.

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