David Byrne to Explore the 'Theater of the Mind' with New Theatrical Show

"There's gonna be a lot of gummy bears and other stuff in there"
David Byrne to Explore the 'Theater of the Mind' with New Theatrical Show
Photo: Kamara Morozuk
David Byrne is once again plotting an ambitious new theatrical show — and this one aims to having your senses working overtime.

While Byrne's American Utopia is still playing on Broadway well into February, the Talking Heads icon has a new show planned called Theater of the Mind, which will come to Colorado's Denver Center for the Performing Arts in August 2020. It was co-created by Byrne and writer Mala Gaonkar.

Byrne opened up about the project in a new Rolling Stone interview, saying: "It will be in a warehouse, where it's divided into a bunch of different rooms. A group of 16 audience members will go from room to room and experience these perceptual things. When they leave one room, another group goes in there. That way, you can get 400 people in from 6 p.m. to 10. You get the same number as if it were a theater show, but you get more in small groups."

The stage show was previously workshopped on New York's Governors Island in October and November of 2017 with production company 600 Highwayman.

"The Denver Center for the Performing Arts have done immersive things like this before — not quite like this — but they've cultivated an audience in Denver," he said, adding that he thinks the audience in Colorado will be more open to tripping out. "I am so convinced that because it's about perception and sensory stuff, there's gonna be a lot of gummy bears and other stuff in there."

An official description for the upcoming production reads as follows:

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 stories from their own lives to shape a narrative you'll 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 we're all in it together.


Nate Koch will serve as Theater of the Mind's executive producer. As of yet, though, it's yet to secure a firm opening date.

American Utopia, however, recently extended its Broadway run and will now play until February 16.