Past

Improbable: Opening Skinner’s Box

Wexner Center Artist Residency Award Project
Work-In-Progress Discussion

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“Improbable is one of the brilliant faces of British theatre.”—The Observer

Welcome back ever-innovative British theater ensemble Improbable, who return this summer for a multiweek creative residency to develop their next production, Opening Skinner’s Box. Based on American writer Lauren Slater’s 2004 book of the same name, Opening Skinner’s Box illuminates surprising truths about human nature as revealed in a famous series of psychological experiments—including those of still-controversial behaviorist B. F. Skinner—and delves into the fascinating stories behind them. Spearheaded by Improbable co-artistic directors Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson and shaped by their trademark mix of clever wit, penetrating insight, and inventive stagecraft, Opening Skinner’s Box promises to be another in a series of memorable Improbable productions that Wex audiences have enthusiastically enjoyed over the years.

Join us at this sure-to-be-lively discussion for an inside look at the progress Improbable have made during their residency—then meet the artists at a reception following the talk. Admission is free but tickets are required.

This is the third Artist Residency Award for Improbable: the Wexner Center also supported development of their productions The Hanging Man (2003) and Panic (2009). The company presented 70 Hill Lane (1999) and Spirit (2001) at the Wex, and Improbable’s Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch directed and designed the acclaimed production Shockheaded Peter, which had its US premiere here in 2000. We’re proud this notable London-based ensemble finds a second home in Columbus, right here at the Wex.

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 program. The work is co-commissioned by Lincoln Center Festival, New York; West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, UK; and Northern Stage, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Phelim McDermott holding the book

Phelim McDermott, image courtesy of Improbable; Background graphic: Fanatic Studio/Getty Images

MAJOR SEASON SUPPORT FOR PERFORMING ARTS

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

 

SUPPORT FOR FREE AND LOW-COST PROGRAMS

Huntington Bank

Cardinal Health Foundation

 

ACCOMMODATIONS

The Blackwell

 

GENERAL OPERATING SUPPORT FOR THE WEXNER CENTER

Greater Columbus Arts Council

The Columbus Foundation

Nationwide Foundation

Ohio Arts Council

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Past Performing Arts

Improbable: Opening Skinner’s Box