Why do we love? When would we kill? How do we learn? Why do we believe in the unbelievable?


With their trademark mix of wit, insight, and inventive stagecraft, Britain’s Improbable theater company takes us on a “fascinating, if at times alarming” (Times, U.K.) tour of ten famous 20th-century psychological experiments, starting with B.F. Skinner’s notorious rat boxes. Inspired by Lauren Slater’s acclaimed book, Opening Skinner’s Box is a time-traveling dialogue with the audacious scientists who set out to unlock the secrets of human behavior. Amidst ethically questionable methods, shocking results, and blinding biases, one thing becomes abundantly clear: Everything we thought we knew about ourselves is wrong.

“One of the brilliant forces of British theatre.”
The Observer (U.K.)

Venue and Accessibility

524 W. 59th Street
  • Large-print programs
    Large-print programs
  • Braille programs
    Braille programs
  • Wheelchair-accessible seating
    Wheelchair-accessible seating
  • Assistive listening devices
    Assistive listening devices
  • Audio description
    Audio description

Live audio description to make visual elements of production accessible for people who are blind or have low vision is available for the July 11 performance. To reserve an audio description receiver, contact [email protected] or call 212.875.5375.

This performance includes haze effects.

For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact [email protected] or 212.875.5375.

For ticketing information and general questions, please call 212.721.6500.

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Opening Skinner’s Box

Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century

North American premiere

Monday, July 10, 2017 at 8:00 pm Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College

Add to Calendar America/New_York Opening Skinner’s Box Lincoln Center Festival - A fascinating tour of ten famous 20th-century psychological experiments by one of Britain’s most inventive theater companies. Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, 524 W. 59th Street, New York, NY 10023 Lincoln Center - Lincoln Center Festival false MM/DD/YYYY aho3e0k00zv7rk56sm4e178

Adapted from the book by Lauren Slater

Directors Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson


Set Design Laura Hopkins

Lighting Design Nigel Edwards

Sound Design Adrienne Quartly


With Alan Cox, Stephen Harper, Tyrone Huggins, Morven Macbeth, Kate Maravan, Paschale Straiton

Commissioned by Wexner Center for the Performing Arts at The Ohio State University through its Artist Residency Award Program. Co-commissioned by Lincoln Center Festival and the Brisbane Festival. Co-produced by Northern Stage and West Yorkshire Playhouse.


Running Time: 2 hours, with no intermission