Extinction of the Learned Response
“Eyebrows up and in.
Lower lid contracted.
Upper lid raised.
Lip corners pulled sideways.
What is it?”
This event has now passed.
In a spotless room, four people are having tea.
Duncan and Marlow are scientists. Rachel and Wells are their subjects, and they can almost pass for human now…
But Wells is growing stronger and Rachel is learning faster than predicted, and Duncan and Marlow’s hold on them – and on power – is proving more fragile than expected. Tensions are rising, tempers are fraying, and somewhere in the darkness, tenderness blossoms, and a carefully controlled experiment begins to twist into something far stranger, and far more obscure…
Brutal, bold and gripping, Extinction of the Learned Response asks what really makes us human. Can it be taught, replicated, removed? And once you take humanity away, what’s hiding underneath?
This new work by young Australian playwright Emme Hoy premieres as part of Belvoir 25a's independent season.