It’s worth a trip to the Public Theater this week for the Soho Rep’s production of the Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s Life and Times: Episodes 1-4. The series, which is being presented by The Public as a special engagement for its 2013 Under the Radar Festival, is an epic show—an 11-hour exuberant celebration about “life.” And according to the Nature Theater of Oklahoma, “epic stories need epic forms.”
Life and Times charts one normal person’s account of their life, navigating a deep map of memory, from their earliest recollections through present day. What makes this particular life story compelling is the unique way it unfolds; the libretto, which will ultimately comprise ten episodes, is a verbatim transcript of ten recorded phone conversations in which the person (Kristin Worrall) told her story to directors Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper—a method of storytelling that Nature Theater of Oklahoma has been pursuing throughout its work.
Known for their innovative use of ready-made material, found space, overheard speech, and observed gesture they brilliantly turn the ordinary to extraordinary, and the mundane to exciting.
Episodes 1-4 represent the first “movement” of the work; Episode 1 starts with birth and continues to age 8, Episode 2 spans early adolescence and Episodes 3 and 4 encompass high school years, including the desire for freedom from home and family life. Each episode can be seen in installments. Or, if you prefer to disappear into the theater for a day, the whole 11 hours will also be shown marathon style, with a free hotdog, spinach knish, sauerkraut, and chili dinner break catered by Katz’s Deli and served by Nature Theater of Oklahoma company members. Now that is the way to go!
The Public Theater Presents The Soho Rep Production of Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s Life and Times: Episode 1-4 / January 16 – February 2 / 425 Lafayette Street / Conceived and Directed by Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper / $30 Tickets per episode, $70 Tickets per marathon.