Doris Duke Artist Award, 2013
New York, NY
Pavol Liska began collaborating with Kelly Copper in 1997, and together they founded Nature Theater of Oklahoma in 2006. The company is committed to “making the work they don’t know how to make,” an approach yielding new amalgams of opera, dance, and theatre, combined with popular culture and humor. Their epic Life and Times series—the life story of one 30-something woman revealed over 10 episodes—has transformed a series of meticulously transcribed phone conversations into songs, dances, a murder mystery, and more. The company has been commissioned by theaters and festivals around the world and have received grants from MAP Fund (2013), NEFA National Theater Project (2011), and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2010), among others. Liska and Copper host OK Radio, a series of free podcasts featuring long-form conversations with artists, curators, and instigators. Their most recent work, a version of the Nibelungenlied, made in site-specific locations and with hundreds of local participants in the rural Rhine-Neckar region of Germany commenced in 2015. A filmed version of these live performance events will premiere in fall 2016.