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Awakening the Mind

World Science Festival


A tribute to the remarkable life

Awakening the Mind is a tribute to the remarkable life and work of Dr. Oliver Sacks. A physician, best-selling author, professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine, and regular contributor to the World Science Festival, The New York Times called him “a poet laureate of contemporary medicine” and “one of the great clinical writers of the twentieth century.”

With stories from friends, colleagues, patients, admirers, and Dr. Sacks himself, this multi-media memory piece of music, image, and language brings to life this extraordinary man who had an incalculable impact on the worlds of medicine and storytelling.

Performance at the World Science Festival 2016, on 1st June 2016.

Produced in partnership with the Oliver Sacks Foundation.

Opened June 2016

World Science Festival

The event, part of the World Science Festival, which Dr. Sacks had participated in over the years, included remarks by Temple Grandin, the central character in Dr. Sacks’s book “An Anthropologist on Mars;” the physicist Brian Greene; and the composer Tobias Picker. The participants delivered brief reminiscences as they perched on stools, behind a gauzy scrim and against a backdrop of projected images. One scene depicted puffy white clouds against a sky of robin’s egg blue; another was described in the script for the show as “brilliant zigzags draining color that Oliver speaks of, that then become something else, gradually, until we realize we’re looking at the neural network of a brain


John Plummer

59 Productions

World Science Festival Producer
Beth Howard

Associate Producer
Tanner Dahlin

59 Team

Creative Director
Lysander Ashton

Lighting Designer
Benjamin Pearcy

Creative Assistant
Matthew Taylor

Animators (59)
Joseph Pierce
Nick Corrigan

Animators (WSF)
Derek Breuer
Josh Zimmerman