The brain builds a narrative to steady us from moment to moment, but it is absolutely an illusion. There is no me, there is no you, and there is certainly no self.
Play title: Incognito
Author (s): Nick Payne
Publisher: Faber and Faber Ltd
Publication Date: 2014
Primary Discipline: Neuroscience/Neuropsychology
Secondary Discipline: Pathology
Scientist (s): Thomas Stoltz Harvey
Source Texts: From the acknowledgements section of the play text: Possessing Genius: The Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein’s Brain by Carolyn Abraham, Into the Silent Land by Paul Broks, Permanent Present Tense by Suzanne Corkin, Incognito by David Eagleman, Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer, The Paradoxical Brain edited by Narinder Kapur, The Time Traveller by Ronald L. Mallett, Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across American with Einstein’s Brain by Michael Paterniti, The Making of Memory:From Molecules to Mind by Steven Rose, Forever Today: A Memoir of Love and Amnesia by Deborah Wearing and Case Studies in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation by Barbara Wilson.
Character Breakdown: 12 men, 8 women
Thomas Stoltz Harvey, Elouise Harvey, Hans Albert Hannigan, Freddy Myers, Anna Vann, Michael Wolf, Otto Nathan, Evelyn Einstein, Henry Maison, Margaret Thomson, Victor Milner, Jon Williams, Sharon Shaw, Martha Murphy, Patricia Thorn, “Anthony,” Richard Walsh, Brenda Walsh, Ben Murphy, and Greg Barraclough.
Setting: Princeton, New Jersey. 1955. Bath, England. 1953. London, England. Present Time.
Time Period: 1953, 1955 and Present Time.
Synopsis of Play: The brain builds a narrative to steady us from moment to moment, but it is absolutely an illusion. There is no me, there is no you, and there is certainly no self. Three interwoven stories exploring the nature of identity and how we are defined by what we remember. Incognito is an exhilarating exploration of what it means to be human. (Play text cover blurb, Faber and Faber)
First Performance Date: April 2014
First Producer: High Tide Festival
Performance History: Incognito by Nick Payne had its world premiere at the High Tide Festival in April 2014, starring Paul Hickey, Amelia Lowdell, Alison O’Donnell and Sargon Yelda. Directed by Joe Murphy.
Entered by: Denise Gillman/ Brooke Sanders