Master dramatist Tom Stoppard’s newest play follows Hilary, a young psychology researcher at the prestigious Krohl Institute for Brain Science. As she and her colleagues grapple with the ‘hard problem’ of defining consciousness, a thorny decision from Hilary’s past fuels her controversial stances—and a few suspect choices. Bristling with intellectual energy and searing wit, The Hard Problem explores the difference between our brains and our minds, the nature of belief, and how to reconcile hard science with lived experience.
Born Tomáš Straüssler in 1937 in what would soon be Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, Tom Stoppard spent the first eight years of his life in a state of flux.Read More
In December 2013, Tom Stoppard emailed Nicholas Hynter, the outgoing artistic director of the National Theatre, that he wanted “to write a play about evolutionary biology and the banking crisis. Happy Christmas.”Read More
The challenge of designing a set that is both monumental and intimate is no small task. We spoke with Studio Director of Design Deb Booth, the production set designer, to learn more about her process and approach.Read More
In the first scene of The Hard Problem, Hilary, a doctoral student, challenges her tutor to explain consciousness. For him, it’s the brain’s perception of sensation—for example, the pain signal that travels from a burned finger to the brain. For her, that’s not enough: “What about sorrow?”Read More
Hilary is a doctoral student in psychology from a school no one has ever heard of with mediocre math skills and no professional research experience to speak of. But that doesn’t seem to bother Dr. Leo Reinhart, eccentric director at the prestigious Krohl Institute for Brain Science.Read More