A new play byTom Stoppard
Directed byJack O'Brien

Newhouse Theater

Running time: 100 minutes, no intermission

"One of the best things Stoppard has given us."

The Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2018

It has been a dozen years since Tom Stoppard lit up the Beaumont stage with his brilliant play, The Coast of Utopia. That extraordinary trilogy thrilled New York audiences over the course of a whole season and won 7 Tony Awards including Best Play. Lincoln Center Theater also presented Stoppard's Arcadia, The Invention of Love, Hapgood and Rock ‘N’ Roll, and now he's back at LCT with his first new play in ten years. THE HARD PROBLEM is a powerful take on a contemporary dilemma, filled with provocative discourse and quick wit.

THE HARD PROBLEM introduces a young woman, Hilary (Adelaide Clemens), a psychology student who is newly employed as a research assistant at a neuroscience think-tank financed by a hedge-fund billionaire. He believes the brain and the ability to map and understand it are the key to predicting financial patterns, human behavior and more. But as Hilary’s career advances she and her colleagues struggle with what scientists call ‘the hard problem’ which asks: if the brain is made of nothing but facts, what is consciousness? For Hilary the possibility of genuine altruism, without a hidden Darwinian self-interest, depends on the answer. Meanwhile she is nursing a private sorrow. She needs a miracle and prays for one every day.

Tom Stoppard discusses his first new play in 10 years, THE HARD PROBLEM. Watch now!

The Hard Problem On the LCT Blog

  • Greetings, Friends!

    I’ve heard your pleas: it is that time ★ To, yes, revive my feast of rhyme...

  • Adelaide Talks About Hilary

    Adelaide Talks About Hilary

    "As I got deeper into the story, I thought: this isn’t so much about neuroscience."

  • Katie Beth Hall: Teen Actor

    Katie Beth Hall: Teen Actor

    “One thing I’m learning about being an actor is that when you have more confidence you usually give a better performance.”