The Hard Problem
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Rebecca Greene Udden
If there is nothing but matter, then what is consciousness? This is what scientists have deemed “the hard problem.” In Tom Stoppard’s brilliant and most recent play, Hilary, a young psychology researcher at a prominent brainscience institute, is nursing a private sorrow while delving into examination of the hard problem at the think-tank. Is the day coming when the computer and the MRI scanner will answer all the questions psychology can ask? Or is there more to being human… Hilary’s personal journey alongside her professional exploration takes the audience on a ride through the mind and heart like only Tom Stoppard can.
THROUGH OCTOBER 13!
September 14 – October 13, 2019
Previews: September 8, 12, & 13
Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays–7:30pm
Sunday, September 29 at 3pm
Open “in-sync” Captioned Performance
Part of the Art Series Events for The Hard Problem
Tuesday, August 20 at 6:45pm: Join us for free, first read-thru of The Hard Problem. For who are new to us, this is a Part of the Art Series event where you get to be a fly on the wall for the very first rehearsal, hearing the cast read the play aloud for the first time together. It’s a lot of fun, and you get a glass of wine and the chance to mix and mingle with the cast on a break. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, Sept. 14 at 6:45pm: Opening Night Pre-Show Discussion with the director Rebecca Greene Udden and designers Eric Marsh and Victoria Gist. Free.
Sunday, September 22: Following the matinee, join us for a discussion with actors from the production and members of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) Houston for a discussion of the central philosophical issue of the play–the “Hard Problem” in the study of consciousness–and its incorporation into the play’s dramatic conflicts. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Mark Ryan, representing IONS-Houston.
Sunday, September 29: Following the matinee, John Lienhard, originator of The Engines of Our Ingenuity and Prof. Emeritus of Engineering and of History at the University of Houston, will give a post-show talk followed by an open discussion with the artists and audience.
Friday, October 4: Join us for a post-show discussion with Jeffrey J. Kripal who holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought, Associate Dean of Humanities at Rice University. Dr. Kripal’s latest book, The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge, touches on some of the very subjects addressed in The Hard Problem. Watch a video from the evening: https://youtu.be/zrKkGxzyJJw
Sunday, October 6: Following the matinee, beginning around 5pm, join us for a book signing with Dr. E. Andrew Boyd, Scheduled Contributor, Houston Public Media’s The Engines of Our Ingenuity. His book, Beyond Comprehension: A Scientific Look at the Challenge of Knowing Everything, is very on point with The Hard Problem:
The universe is infinite.
The human brain isn’t.
Are we up to the challenge of knowing everything?
Containers filled with paint that can’t be painted. Experiments that give contradictory results. Numbers that don’t add up. Explore the scientific middle ground between light and shadow. The very real realm lying beyond comprehension. For more information, see https://www.beyondcomprehension.info
Free Beer Fridays: Following regular Friday performances sponsored by Saint Arnold in The Liberty Group lobby (previews excluded).
After-parties following all Saturday performances, including a special reception on Opening Night, in The Liberty Group lobby.