Despite his visceral association with New York, David Byrne has always exhibited affection for the vivid landscape that is America – and so the announcement that he is premiering a new immersive theater experience in Denver is really not a surprise in the least. And indeed, his sure-to-be-fascinating Theater of the Mind will premiere in August of 2020 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts‘ Off-Center.
No surprise, for such an unfettered conceptualist, the piece will be a 15,000-square-foot immersive experience, allowing just sixteen audience members at a time members to experience a journey of “self-reflection, discovery and imagination.” It promises sensory experiments that will somehow unravel the mysteries of that great and baffling enigma that is the human mind.
A Doll’s House at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts
At the very least, it will be a good excuse to stop staring at your Instagram feed and get a little deep. But considering Byrne’s involvement, we can safely predict nothing short of revelatory enlightenment.
“David and I partnered with several cognitive neuroscience labs to see how some of the most basic human intuitions determine how humans react,” explains co-creator Mala Gaonkar. “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 theatre.”
Considering the bizarre 21st Century circumstance of science falling under concerted attack by our current administration, it couldn’t be more poignantly timely.
“Off-Center is nationally admired for its immersive work,” enthuses Byrne, whose American Utopia is currently running on Broadway, “and they have the skill and experience to bring this complex production to life – [plus] the committed audience who will appreciate it. 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.”
As we reported last year, Denver is actually in the throes of a cultural rebirth – so start planning your visit now, and expect to spend a few days in the Colorado capital.