MapFund

About the Grant

$18,000 to support LIFE AND TIMES (MAP 2007), a brut opera created by Nature Theater of Oklahoma from a single recorded phone conversation. The creation of the piece will involve the company of performers (none of whom have composed an opera before) working with two writer/directors live in rehearsal to create the sung score themselves.

About the Project

Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s LIFE AND TIMES is a 16 hour epic serial biography created from a single phone conversation with one 34-year-old woman, as she tells her whole life story up to the present day. Arranged in episodes, the length of which correspond to the times the narrator actually took a break from telling her story, the project encompasses the entire narrative arc of one anonymous person’s life, from birth to the present.

The subject of this bio-epic was not chosen because her life was remarkable or different, but because it was the same as the lives of most people, and because she could speak well and at length about her own personal history. To protect the identity of this person, various place and proper names have been changed, the entire story was transcribed verbatim, and then was finally re-read by another person, who kept to the exact timing and pacing of the original recorded narrative. The company will work with this new recording in rehearsal to create the performance and musical accompaniment for the piece, which they imagine as a new bio-epic with music.

LIFE AND TIMES is the last of a series of works made by Nature Theater of Oklahoma (No Dice, Rambo/Romeo) which engage with and reinvent traditional narrative archetypes. Starting with their first ballet, Poetics, the company has dedicated itself to making work as a group, in rehearsal, working within various “high art” forms over which they possess no professional mastery, to create their own art brut. With LIFE AND TIMES, the company will aim themselves at the life stories of great men of genius, blend that with the traditions of opera, and eventually bring you the ultimate in musical autobiography.

Related Websites

Nature Theater of Oklahoma Nature Theater of Oklahoma on the cover of Theater Heute



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