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The Hard Problem

 



A new play by Tom Stoppard in which a young researcher contemplates the scientific question of consciousness by looking at the place where psychology and biology meet.

From the producers: "The Hard Problem" introduces a young woman, Hilary, a psychology student who is newly employed as a research assistant at a neuroscience think-tank financed by a hedge-fund billionaire. He believes the brain and the ability to map and understand it are the key to predicting financial patterns, human behavior and more. But as Hilary’s career advances she and her colleagues struggle with what scientists call ‘the hard problem’ which asks: if the brain is made of nothing but facts, what is consciousness? For Hilary the possibility of genuine altruism, without a hidden Darwinian self-interest, depends on the answer. Meanwhile she is nursing a private sorrow. She needs a miracle and prays for one every day.

Czech-born British playwright Tom Stoppard's plays include "Arcadia," "The Coast of Utopia," "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour," "Professional Foul," "The Real Thing," and "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead." He co-wrote the screenplays for "Brazil," "The Russia House," and "Shakespeare in Love," and has received one Academy Award and four Tony Awards. Stoppard’s work was most recently seen on Broadway last season with the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of "Travesties." "The Hard Problem" received its world premiere at London’s National Theatre in 2015 and made its U.S. premiere in Philadelphia in 2016 at the Wilma Theater.

The play stars Adelaide Clemens as Hilary, last seen in the world premiere of "Hold On To Me Darling" Off-Broadway. The cast also features Robert Petkoff, Jon Tenney, Eshan Bay, John Patrick Doherty, Nina Grollman, Katie Beth Hall, Eleanor Handley, Olivia Hebert, Sagar Kiran, Chris O’Shea, Madeleine Pace, Tara Summers, Baylen Thomas, Kim N. Wong, and Karoline Xu. Tony winner Jack O’Brien ("Carousel," "Hairspray," "The Coast of Utopia") directs.

What's Lincoln Center Theater? One of the largest and most prominent non-profit theaters in the city, LCT has three state-of-the-art venues at Lincoln Center, and occasionally produces shows in the theater district proper. On rare occasions the fare is controversial, but as a matter of course, it's the best-regarded theatrical producing organization in the city. The company's LTC3 initiative is devoted to producing the work of new artists and building new audiences. More here.

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