A new play byTom Stoppard
Directed byJack O'Brien

Newhouse Theater / Seating Chart / Directions

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, 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.


View photos from the first rehearsal of THE HARD PROBLEM.

The Hard Problem On the LCT Blog

  • Speaking the Speech with Elizabeth Smith

    Speaking the Speech with Elizabeth Smith

    "Dialect is tricky because it’s influenced culturally and geographically. And now social media has done a number on it."

  • Jack O'Brien on Cracking THE HARD PROBLEM

    Jack O'Brien on Cracking THE HARD PROBLEM

    When I spoke with Jack O’Brien, director of THE HARD PROBLEM, we spoke less about plot specifics – it’s too early in the production process to give much away – than about other matters.

  • THE HARD PROBLEM: First Rehearsal

    THE HARD PROBLEM: First Rehearsal

    Normally, I wouldn’t go on about the standard aspects of a meet-and-greet. But a collaboration as fruitful as Tom Stoppard and Jack O'Brien's demands slight expansion.