Theater Of The Mind Denver


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Theater Of The Mind Producer Charlie Miller: A Man Ahead Of His Time

‘Theater of the Mind’ runs through December at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Charlie Miller has always been a young man ahead of his time. After all, he played both Fagin and Captain Von Trapp by the age of 17. Not so many years later, the co-founder and curator of Off-Center at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts is regarded as a national thought leader in the continually evolving world of experiential theatre.

Charlie Miller

Charlie has made the Denver Center the center of immersive work in the country between New York and Los Angeles, said frequent collaborator Amanda Berg Wilson, who will serve as an assistant director on Off-Centers next big adventure, Theater of the Mind, with creators David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar. Its a groundbreaking and mind-bending project Miller lobbied hard to bring to Denver for its upcoming world premiere and one he absolutely landed, Wilson said, because of the body of innovative work he has built up over the past decade.

When I was passing through Denver on a concert tour in 2018, I was approached by Charlie about a possible collaboration, Byrne said. Miller took the iconic Talking Heads frontman to a local warehouse and opened his mind to the creative possibilities of staging the piece here.

Off-Center is nationally admired for its immersive work, and they have the skill and experience to bring this complex production to life and a committed audience who will appreciate it, Byrne said. They know what they are doing.

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David Byrne

Heres What To Expect From The Debut Of David Byrnes 15000

What, you thought David Byrne would sit out the immersive installation trend?

Talking Heads frontman David Byrne is debuting a 15,000-square-foot immersive experience today called Theater of the Mind.

The hands-on show, created in partnership with technology investor Mala Gaonkar, explores human perception at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, specifically at its experimental Off-Center space, a former cannabis grow house in the Clayton neighborhood.

Byrne told Rolling Stone that he chose to debut the show in Denver based on the centers previous experience with immersive programming. Not quite like this, he said, but theyve cultivated an audience in Denver.

Byrne and Gaonkar collaborated on a similar project in 2016 at Pace Gallerys Menlo Park location. Called Neurosociety, the experience contextualized brain research for the gallery setting.

Theater of the Mind builds on that beta testing. Like Neurosociety, the show guides small groups of attendees through sensory experiments demonstrating how negotiable consensual reality actually is.

Experiments, we feel, are a form of theater, Byrne and Gaonkar told Artnet News in 2016. At Neurosociety, visitors saw themselves reimagined as dolls, predicted the results of fictional elections, and experienced moving objects freezing.

An Expertly Polished Highly Accessible Journey Through The Science Of Memories

There is a classic, memorable scene at the end of the movie Being John Malkovich where Lotte chases Maxine through the various chambers of Johns brain, literally stepping into his memories as they go. Theater Of The Mind reminded me a lot of that scene, except we traversed David Byrnes head instead, lightly unpacked his childhood trauma, and experienced some really fun, science-based parlor tricks along the way.

With groups of 16 people stepping into the guided experience every 15 minutes, guests are strongly encouraged to arrive early for check-in. After storing bags and electronic devices in a bank of free lockers, the audience meet the groups Experience Technician, whose purpose is to assist guests should any needs arise throughout the multi-sensory experience.

Walking through the first door, we were presented with a room full of more doors whose windows were conspicuously lit, yet totally unmarked. After some context-building by a heard-but-not-seen Byrne, the audience learned that wed be attending his funeral. Then our Experience Technician helped us find our name tags but, curiously, the names were not our own.

As I tried to find a Danielle tag with no success, I couldnt help but notice that these were unusually sturdy nametags hard plastic like a credit card with a strong removable magnet on the back.

It is only after all this that we were ushered through one of the doors into a dimly lit, well-decorated, spacious funeral parlor.

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The Production Is Currently Playing Through December 18 2022 At The Denver Center For The Performing Arts In Denver Co

Academy, Grammy, and Tony Award-winning artist David Byrne appeared on the “Destination Freedom Black Radio Days” podcast, in a 3-part series featuring Byrne’s immersive theatrical experience, THEATER OF THE MIND. The episode is available to listen to below!

The previous episodes in the series feature the show’s Director, Andrew J. Scoville, and Producer Charlie Miller. The production is currently playing through December 18, 2022, at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in Denver, CO.

Co-created by David Byrne and writer Mala Gaonkar, THEATER OF THE MIND is a new theatrical experience you’ll see, feel, taste and hear. Inspired by both historical and current neuroscience research, the show takes you on an immersive journey inside how we see and create our worlds. Peer behind the curtain of the physical realm and marvel at the wonders of your mind. Follow your Guide as they revisit key moments in their life in a surreal, 15,000-square-foot installation with a group of just 16 audience members.

First Look: Theater Of The Mind Is A Science Fair For Adults

Theater of the Mind

Emily FergusonSeptember 14, 20221:29PM

Theater of the Mind Theater of the Mind Theater of the Mind is open through December 18 at the York Street Yards, 3887 Steele Street. Tickets are $55 and up get them here.KEEP WESTWORD FREE…Westword

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Read The Latest Reviews

Its easy to say that Theater of the Mind is a one-of-a-kind experience that defies any categorization. Its a wild spin through alternative reality a fascinating and meticulously detailed labyrinth, with delightful surprises that await beyond each door. OnStage Colorado

Theater of the Mind is a smorgasbord! Its fundamentally light and playful, often laugh-out-loud funny amid its bittersweet drama. After the show ends, it takes on poignant extra dimensions, and that may be its greatest trick of all. The Denver Post

Intricate, mesmerizing and surreal! An immersive experience that is both profoundly human and technologically innovative. Just trust me and go grab your tickets to this show now! Boulder Weekly

Reconnect With Your Senses At This New Experience From Talking Heads Frontman David Byrne Plus A Cocktail Popup At Death & Co

In an era when pop-up installations are inhabiting cities left and right, it seems more times than not were left underwhelmed, walking out with swag bags and a camera roll filled with uninspired Instagram photo ops. David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar’s experiential theater project Theater of the Mind, which runs through December 18 at Denvers York Street Yards, does a whole lot more than that, leaving your brain, and all five senses, stimulated in a way that having your cell phone in tow wouldnt even be able to depict.

Once you arrive at York Street Yards, your belongings, including your phone, are stowed away in a locker, youre assigned a name tag, and for the next 75 minutes you take on an entirely new persona: someone from Byrnes past.

Scene 1: David Byrnes funeral. David rises from the casket. Now its time for you and the crew to travel through Davids memory and witness where exactly your new persona fits into place.

Scene 2: Davids brain. Enter a glowing pink room filled with chairs and mirrors where youll have your own brain tripped out with lighting and optical illusion effects. As you continue through the rooms youll travel to the discotheque where David used to DJ, a backyard BBQ from his childhood, a scene from one of his young adult jobs, a questionable attic, and more. Each scenario provokes a specific smell and in some cases a taste accompanied by a story involving one of you.

Abby Maddigan is the social media manager at Thrillist

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In Conversation With David Byrne

On Monday, September 12, DCPA and WNYC Studios Radiolab hosted a one-night-only event featuring David Byrne, Radiolab co-host Latif Nasser, and neuroscientist Thalia Wheatley in conversation on the intersection of art and science and the research that inspired Theater of the Mind.

All proceeds went to benefit DCPA Off-Center, the non-profit’s home for immersive, experiential theatre.

Theater Of The Mind: At A Glance

Welcome to Theater of the Mind
  • The story at a glance: Inspired by both historical and current lab research, Theater of the Mind takes you on an immersive journey inside how we see and create our worlds. Co-created by Talking Heads frontman and artist David Byrne and writer Mala Gaonkar, the show uses stories from their own lives to shape a narrative youll see, feel, taste and hear. Witness the wonders of your mind for yourself as you follow The Guide through a spectacular 15,000-square-foot installation with 16 fellow audience members. As you explore intriguing environments, participate in a narrative and try a series of sensory experiments, your Guide will question how beliefs, memories and even our identities are less fixed than we think. Caution: the brain may wander. Side effects may include a distrust of your own senses, a disorientation of self, and a mild to severely good time. You may not be who you think you are. But were all in it together.
  • Presented by: Off-Center

Mala Gaonkar and David Byrne. Photo by Catalina Kulczar.

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What Should I Wear What Should I Bring

Theater of the Mind will involve moving throughout various spaces , so we recommend wearing clothes that will allow you to engage in each of these activities comfortably. Otherwise, come as you are!

Free Lockers to Check Personal Items

You can store small personal items and devices for free in our small, secure lockers located in the lobby. Large bags and purses are not allowed into the experience. No bags or purses will be allowed into the experience. Due to certain aspects of the experience we cant tell you which, because that would ruin it for you! no cell phones, smart watches, fit bits, or other wearable devices that light up will be allowed in the experience.

To Prepare For Attending Theater Of The Mind Please Note The Following:

  • Run time: Approximately 75 minutes. Please plan on arriving 15 minutes ahead of your scheduled performance time.

  • No late entry: Due to the nature of our experience and for the safety of performers and audience members, there will be no late admittance under any circumstances.

  • Ages: Theater of the Mind is recommended for audiences 16 and older. Audiences must be 18 or older to attend unaccompanied. Patrons ages 13-17 may attend if accompanied by a guardian. We are sorry, but audiences under 13 are not permitted to attend any performance, under any circumstance.

  • Attire: Theater of the Mind will involve moving throughout various spaces , so we recommend wearing clothes that will allow you to engage in each of these activities comfortably. Otherwise, come as you are!

  • Free lockers: Free, lockable lockers are available in the lobby. You can carry your key with you throughout the experience. No bags or purses will be allowed into the experience.

  • Cell phones and other electronic devices: Due to certain aspects of the experience we cant tell you which, because that would ruin it for you! no cell phones, smart watches, fit bits, or other wearable devices that light up will be allowed in the experience.

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First Look: Theater Of The Mind


Co-created by Academy, Grammy, and Tony Award-winning artist David Byrne and writer Mala Gaonkar, Theater of the Mind is a new theatrical experience youll see, feel, taste and hear. Inspired by both historical and current neuroscience research, the show takes you on an immersive journey inside how we see and create our worlds.

Take a look at some of the production photos below.

Take A Trip Through David Byrnes Mind

Tickets  Theater of the Mind

Theater of the Mind is an immersive play that unfolds in a 15,000-square-foot square-foot warehouse

Nina Raemont

Theater of the Mind

Fake grass, funerals, drunk goggles and virtual reality headsets are a few of the things theater-goers can expect to see when they step into David Byrnes new immersive production.

Best known as the frontman of the Talking Heads, Byrne debuted Theater of the Mind this week at Denvers Center for the Performing Arts Off Center. During the 75-minute play, which he co-created with writer Mala Gaonkar, audiences embark on a journey through seven rooms inside a 15,000-square-foot industrial space. Each room represents a stage of Byrnes life.

The artist hopes the production will make you contemplate not his life but the ideas that drive it, writes the Washington PostsGeoff Edgers.

Audience members play brain games with goggles developed by a scientist at MIT, the Denver PostsJohn Wenzel reports, and they wear VR headsets for immersive pieces.

The Washington Post calls it part installation, part performance piece, but its also part science experiment. Per 5280s Spencer Campbell, Byrne spent about a year visiting labs to prepare for the production. The result: a system that imperceptibly distorts reality with lights, sounds and other effects.

Theater of the MindTheater of the Mind

Its not like walk out of the last room and theres a standing ovation, Byrne tells the Denver Post. Its 16 people. Theyre already standing.

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Theater Of The Mind Add


A special add-on to the standard pass, enjoy Theater of the Mind! This add-on to your DIG pass gives you access to the Theater of the Mind on Saturday, November 5th. Specific times will be scheduled with your festival schedule. Look for details later in September.

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As a special add-on to the standard pass, you can also buy tickets to the Theater of the Mind! We have special pricing and the chance to experience this one-of-a-kind immersive show with other Immersive Gathering attendees.

Please note, these tickets are for Saturday, November 5th, during the DIG Festival. We will scheduling DIG attendees into Theater of the Mind and other festival activities later in September. You will be asked about your attendance preferences around the 3rd week of September!

David Byrne And Mala Gaonker Extend Theater Of The Mind Immersive Experience Due To Popular Demand

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Off-Center has announced that due in part to popular demand, Theater of the Mind, co-created by David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar, has been extended through Jan. 22 in Denver.

The theatrical experience premiered on Sept. 13 and was scheduled to conclude on Dec. 18. It has now been drawn out to allow other hopeful participants to immerse themselves in a journey through introspection, realizations and imagination grounded in neuroscience.

Theater of the Mind invites the crowd to explore how we perceive the world through sensory experiments that reveal the inner mystery of the brain.

Extending this show is a dream come true, said co-creator David Byrne. Not only am I happy with the show, but it seems that the audience like it too! I couldnt ask for a better holiday present.

For more information about the production and to buy tickets, visit

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