The Public Theater announced that it will present the Soho Rep production of the American premiere of the Nature Theater of Oklahoma's LIFE AND TIMES: Episodes 1-4 as a special engagement of the 2013 Under the Radar Festival. Conceived and directed by Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper, the epic serial saga LIFE AND TIMES will run tonight, January 16 through February 2, 2013. The 2013 Under the Radar Festival will run January 9 through 20, 2013 at The Public Theater at Astor Place, 425 Lafayette Street.
"Nature Theater of Oklahoma is one of the most brilliant and original theater groups to emerge in the western world in this millennium. We are delighted to give our audiences the first look at this amazing production," said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis.
"Nature Theater of Oklahoma premiered some of their first works at Under the Radar and this humorous, poignant, and literally bouncing epic marks the homecoming of this thrilling company after four years of working overseas," said Under the Radar Producer Mark Russell. "Life and Times has joy, energy, and countless surprises that keep you on The Edge of your seat. Taken in parts or as a marathon it is a transformative theatrical experience."
"We are honored to be continuing our longstanding work with the company and collaborating for the first time with our friends at The Public," said Soho Rep Artistic Director Sarah Benson. "Together, we can make this monumental production a reality in New York."
Nature Theater of Oklahoma makes a triumphant homecoming with this bold, exuberant celebration of the most epic story of all: life. Conceived and directed by Nature Theater of Oklahoma's Artistic Directors, Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper, 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. The libretto of the work, which will ultimately comprise ten episodes, is a verbatim transcript of ten recorded phone conversations in which the person told their story. LIFE AND TIMES continues the exploration Nature Theater of Oklahoma has pursued since No Dice: using casual, real-life speech and storytelling as the text for innovative theatrical works, thereby making something extraordinary out of the ordinary.
The four episodes of LIFE AND TIMES being presented can be seen in installments or together as a "marathon": on different weeknights (exact days vary each week) at 7p.m., the company will perform Episode 1 (3.5 hours with intermission), Episode 2 (two hours with no intermission), and Episodes 3 & 4 (together, 3.5 hours with intermission). Then, on Saturday or Sunday (varies each week), the marathon (approximately 11 hours including a 30-minute snack break and a one-hour dinner break) is performed at 1p.m.
Member Tickets are priced at $25, for Episode 1, 2, or 3 & 4, or $60 for the full marathon. Single tickets, priced at $30 for Episode 1, 2, or 3 & 4, or $70 for the full marathon, go on sale Tuesday, November 27. Tickets can be purchased at (212) 967-7555, www.publictheater.org, or in person at The Public Theater box office at 425 Lafayette Street.
LIFE AND TIMES, from a conversation with Kristin Worrall, features dramaturgy by Florian Malzacher, design by Peter Nigrini, and original music by Robert M. Johanson, Julie LaMendola,and Daniel Gower. The cast includes Ilan Bachrach, Elisabeth Conner, Gabel Eiben, Anne Gridley, Matthew Korahais, Julie LaMendola, Alison Weisgall, and Kristin Worrall.
Episodes 1-4 represent the first "movement" of the work; upcoming episodes will depart from the theater and take other forms, including a book, a film and a radio play. Episode 1, which starts with birth and continues to age 8, fuses communist musical and "mass games" rhythmic gymnastic spectacle. In Episode 2, which spans early adolescence, the company takes up the concept of the chorus and chorus line to represent the challenges of belonging to a social group. Episodes 3 and 4 encompass high school years, including the desire for freedom from home and family life. Experimentation, rebellion, and drug use collide with religion and metaphysics-both first love and first cigarettes. In order to unlock the considerable drama associated with this particular age, Nature Theater applies the dramatic conventions of a "locked-room" mystery play.