David Byrne has announced plans for an immersive project entitled Theater of the Mind.
The production is inspired by historical and recent lab research according to the former Talking Heads man.
“It will be in a warehouse, where it’s divided into a bunch of different rooms,” Byrne told Rolling Stone. “A group of 16 audience members will go from room to room and experience these perceptual things. When they leave one room, another group goes in there. That way, you can get 400 people in from 6 pm to 10. You get the same number as if it were a theatre show, but you get more in small groups.”
According to the production company 600 Highwaymen, he previously workshopped a version of Theater of the Mind on Governors Island in New York in late 2017.
But Byrne decided to take it to Denver, Colorado instead. “The Denver Center for the Performing Arts have done immersive things like this before — not quite like this — but they’ve cultivated an audience in Denver,” he said.
Mala Gaonkar, the research analyst who co-wrote the project with Byrne, said in a statement: “For a few years, David and I partnered with several cognitive neuroscience labs to see how some of the most basic human intuitions determine how humans react,”
“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. 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 theatre in a new way.”
The production is set to open in Denver in August 2020. No plans to bring it to the UK have been announced yet.
Byrne recently took his American Utopia tour to Broadway. The residency will run until January 20, 2020.