Improbable in co-production with West Yorkshire Playhouse and Northern Stage present OPENING SKINNER’S BOX – Great psychological experiments of the twentieth century.
A brand new production in the year that celebrates the 20 years of Improbable – Based on the book by Lauren Slater. Adapted by Improbable. Co-directed by Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson. Designed by Laura Hopkins. Lighting designed by Nigel Edwards. Sound designed by Adrienne Quartly.
2016 also includes: D&D11 at Birmingham Repertory Theatre; Philip Glass’s Akhnaten at ENO and further projects to be announced
‘Why do we love? When would we kill? How do we learn? Why do we believe in the unbelievable? What is memory? Why do we keep doing things that hurt us?’
These were religious and philosophical questions until about a hundred years ago; then science joined the conversation. According to science, pretty much everything we think about ourselves is wrong.
Inspired by the fascinating and controversial book by Lauren Slater (published in 2004), Opening Skinner’s Box is a whistle-stop tour of the scientific quest to make sense of what we are and who we are, told through ten great psychological experiments and the stories of the people who created them.
Following recent success with their first ever Shakespeare production, The Tempest, Improbable return to Northern Stage before taking this brand new production to West Yorkshire Playhouse.
The Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University is lead commissioner of Improbable’s Opening Skinner’s Box through its Artist Residency Award programme. The work is co-commissioned by Lincoln Center Festival, New York and the Brisbane Festival where the production will tour later this year.
Improbable is one of the UK’s most inventive companies, from intimate, small scale works such as the seminal 70 Hill Lane, to the pioneering and hugely influential Lifegame and massive outdoor spectacles like Sticky, their work is always highly original and entirely unpredictable. The range of projects in their 20th year shows there is no let up in the search for new and theatrically exciting ways to tell stories making these shows a fitting celebration of their many achievements.
OTHER PROJECTS IN IMPROBABLE’S 20TH YEAR INCLUDE:
AKHNATEN | 4 – 18 March 2016 | English National Opera
Following the huge success of Satyagraha, the Glass / McDermott combination returns to the Coliseum with an opera that explores the life and religious convictions of the Egyptian pharaoh, and forms the last of Philip Glass’s trilogy of ‘portrait’ operas in which he looks at figures from the fields of science (Einstein), politics (Gandhi) and religion (Akhnaten).
D&D 11 | 9-11 January 2016 | Birmingham REP Theatre
Join the conversation about the future of theatre at the annual Devoted and Disgruntled event. This year we’re taking it to the regions, partnering up with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre for the first time ever.
OPENING SKINNER’S BOX UK DATES:
22 – 30 April: Northern Stage, Newcastle
Northern Stage Barras Bridge, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 7RH
Booking: northernstage.co.uk / 0191 230 5151
5 – 14 May: West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Playhouse Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UP
Times: 14:00 /14:30 / 19:45
Booking: wyp.org.uk / 0113 213 7700
Opening Skinner’s Box is supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award