Incognito by Nick Payne

Mainstage Production directed by Ann-Marie Pereth and Joseph D. Kucan

Thursday, November 29 – Sunday, December 16, 2018
Art Square Theatre, 1025 1st. St., Las Vegas, NV 89101

A pathologist steals the brain of Albert Einstein; a neuropsychologist embarks on her first romance with another woman; a seizure patient forgets everything but how much he loves his girlfriend. These three artfully interwoven stories delve into the nature of identity and how we are defined by what we remember.

Directors’ Note (from the program)

Let’s talk about you.

Husband, wife, mother, father, teacher, banker, artist, human. Certainly you’re much, much more than these few, limited labels would suggest. Tall, short, wide, small – perhaps this is a better way to describe you. Perhaps not. Anxious, confident, brave, taciturn. Wily, curious, stoic, romantic – surely these adjectives portray you perfectly, and you would use them liberally to tell the world everything it needs to know about you. When combined, these descriptions would tell us exactly who you are.

But how do you know?

Everything we understand about ourselves is rooted in our memories. Our brains remind us moment to moment where we’ve been, what we’ve enjoyed, what we should avoid, who our friends are, and aren’t. Our memories of these things bind us to a very specific manner of behavior. In fact, without our memories, each and every moment of our lives would be filled with constant, overwhelming discovery – a world where our connection to ourselves and to the people around us would be completely un-moored.

With Incognito, Nick Payne would like to loosen those moorings just a little bit. Tonight, your memory will be challenged as you discover (and then re-discover!) 21 separate characters portrayed by four remarkably talented performers. Thomas, an obsessed pathologist; Martha, a repressed neuropsychologist; Henry, a victim of a horrific brain injury – Payne interweaves their three distinct stories into a singular tale about identity, awareness and, most of all, self.

But back to you.

Tonight, your ever-changing perspective will be exercised with each shifting scene, with each new introduction. The question of Incognito – who are we if not a collection of established memories? – resonates in the continuing business of recognition, the awareness of not just who you are, but in your ability to identify with familiarity everyone around you. It’s an important task. Because really: without your collection of lifelong memories, who are you?

JK and A-MP, November 2018