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A life re-lived and imagined anew: Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Life and Times: Episodes 1-4 (review from 2013)

The 10-hour marathon performance of Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s Life and Times: Episodes 1-4 begins with a casual introduction from co-directors Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska. “We are in the business of manipulating time and space,” Liska states, “We want you all to take responsibility for this going well.” Life and Times sets out to transform the entire life story of one person, company member Kristin Worrall, into theatre.

Over 16 hours of recorded phone conversations, Worrall meanders, in painstaking detail, from her earliest memory to age 34. The performance text is a verbatim transcript of these phone calls, preserving every verbal tic, hesitation and redundancy from the original source, every ‘like,’ ‘um’ and ‘ha ha.’ It’s an absurdly quixotic endeavour that could easily have become a stunningly banal vanity project. However, thanks to tight direction, playfully inventive staging and virtuosic performances from the ensemble (Ilan Bachrach, Asli Bulbul, Elisabeth C…

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