Founding Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has teamed up with author Mala Gaonkar to create an immersive sensory experience called Theater of the Mind, which will premiere August 31 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Off-Center.

The production, which originally was scheduled to debut in 2020 but was postponed because of COVID-19, takes place in a 15,000-square-foot historic warehouse and, according to an official description, brings audience members on “an immersive journey of self-reflection, discovery, and imagination, inspired by and grounded in neuroscience.”

The show uses stories from Byrne’s and Gaokar’s own lives to shape a narrative that attendees will be able to see, feel, taste and hear.

At each show, 16 audience members will follow a “Guide” through various environments and will have the opportunity to try a number of sensory experiments devised to make attendees question how they perceive their own beliefs, memories and identities.

Byrne explains that Theater of the Mind was inspired by a series of neuroscience experiments in which both he and Gaonkar participated.

“We began referring to the project as a Neuro Funhouse, but as we worked on it we came to realize that it was evolving to be something more than that,” he notes. “It has made us rethink some of our own beliefs and assumptions, to see ourselves and the world in a different way, and we hope that it might have a similar effect on our audience.”

Theater of the Mind begins previews on August 31, and officially opens on Septmber 13. The production will run through December 18. Tickets will go on to the general public on May 20, while pre-sale tickets will be available to all Denver Center for the Performing Arts subscribers starting May 6.

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