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December 10, 2015

Tony Award-winning playwright hosts discussion on new Philly play

Tom Stoppard and scientist David Chalmers talk about 'The Hard Problem'

Tom Stoppard is a well-known Czech-born British playwright whose work has won multiple awards. His critically acclaimed works often bring new and powerful perspectives on the human condition to wide audiences. The most widely recognizable of his work is the screenplay for the 1998 Academy Award-winning film "Shakespeare in Love," which he co-wrote, and the famous 1964 play "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead."  

On Monday, Dec. 14 Stoppard will be in Philadelphia at the Wilma Theater to discuss his upcoming play "The Hard Problem." The Wilma Theater will be among the first to bring the play to United States audiences. Previously it had been shown at the National Theatre in London. 

Stoppard will be joined by philosopher and cognitive scientist David Chalmers. The talk will be moderated by Elisabeth Camp, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University.

"The Hard Problem" introduces audiences to Hilary, a 22-year-old psychology student applying for a coveted position with the Krohl Institute for Brain Science.  Hilary hopes to move beyond personal regrets as she explores the blurred lines between science and psychology with her colleagues and her sometimes-lover Spike.  Ethics are called into question as they struggle with difficult questions about consciousness. 

Chalmers coined the phrase “the hard problem” to describe those difficult questions that occur on the quest for scientific understanding of the universe. 

Stoppard and Chalmers will discuss whether science will ever truly crack “the hard problem." Students and theater industry member attendees receive a discount to the event. Discounted tickets are $10.

Those that cannot attend will be able to watch a live stream of the event.

The play will open Jan. 13 and run through the first week of February.

"The Hard Problem"

Monday, Dec. 14
7:30 p.m. | $25 general admission
The Wilma Theater Main Stage
265 S. Broad St.