< BLOG

Posts Tagged ‘Kelly Copper’

Life and Times – Episode 7

Posted September 17th, 2019

September 17, 2019

This year’s Fringe Festival show Pursuit of Happiness marks the first offering from New York’s Nature Theater of Oklahoma since it completed the eight-part Life and Times series. Revisit that epic series with the screening of Episode 7 at Lightbox Film Center at International House Philadelphia. With burning passion and limited means, Nature Theater of Oklahoma takes on Hollywood in an ode to Citizen Kane. Based on stories by Kristen Worrall, the film deploys rear screen projection, wigs, and a cast of eight to portray over one hundred characters on three continents, spanning the early adult years of the heroine’s life. Talkback with Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper follows the film.

$10 general
$8 students + seniors
Free for Lightbox + FringeArts members

135 minutes

Fringe Festival Bookstore

Posted September 5th, 2019

September 5–22, 2019

FringeArts partners with much-loved local bookseller Head House Books to present the Fringe Festival Bookstore at Cherry Street Pier. Head down to Philadelphia’s newest, most arts-friendly waterfront park (just across Columbus Boulevard from the Festival Bar at FringeArts) to browse books and publications by and about the artists in the 2019 Fringe Festival. Delve deeper into the Curated Fringe Festival shows at a series of intimate conversations and live podcasts with the artists and community partners behind the shows.

Sept 5–22
Thursdays + Fridays: 4–8pm
Saturdays: 10am–8pm
Sundays: 12–8pm

All events FREE


Event Schedule

Let Me Die: Artist Talk
Joseph Keckler and Sarah Williams (Opera Philadelphia) moderated by Dr. Laura Protano-Biggs (University of Pennsylvania)
Sept 6 at 4pm

The B-Side: Artist Talk
Eric Berryman and Kate Valk (The Wooster Group) moderated by Raina Searles (FringeArts)
Sept 7 at 3pm

Úumbal: Community Conversation
Mariana Arteaga and Philadelphia participants moderated by Tenara Calem (FringeArts)
Sept 8 at 4pm

Superterranean: Live Podcast Recording
Dan Rothenberg (Pig Iron Theatre Company) and Tony Torn, moderated by Peter Woodall (Hidden Cities)
Sept 13 at 4pm

Cartography: Community Conversation
Malaika Uwamahoro and Janice Amaya (Cartography cast) and Ari Gutierrez-Sanchez (Puentes de Salud), moderated by Ahmet Selim (CAIR PA)
Sept 14 at 4pm

Is This A Room: Artist Talk
Tina Satter (Half Straddle), moderated by Zach Blackwood (FringeArts)
Sept 15 at 2pm

Un Poyo Rojo: Live Podcast Recording
Luciano Rosso and Nicolás Poggi (Un Poyo Rojo), moderated by Zach Blackwood (FringeArts)
Sept 20 at 4pm

Pursuit of Happiness: Community Conversation
Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper (Nature Theater of Oklahoma), Iztok Kovač (EN-KNAP Group), Cathryn Miller-Wilson (HIAS PA) and Yaroub Al-Obaidi (Penn Museum Global Guide), moderated by Tenara Calem (FringeArts)
Sept 21 at 4pm

Late Night Snacks: Artist Talk
Performers and curators from The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, John Jarboe, Anthony Martinez-Briggs, Zack Blackwood and FringeArts, moderated by Katy Dammers (FringeArts)
Sept 22 at 4pm

Following the American Dream: Kelly Copper on Pursuit of Happiness

Posted August 19th, 2019

What is happiness, and to what ends will we pursue it? Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska, co-directers of the OBIE-winning Nature Theater of Oklahoma, explore this question in Pursuit of Happiness, a work of dance-theater made in collaboration with Slovenia-based dance troupe EN-KNAP Group. The dancers follow the American dream from the American West to the Middle East, along the way bending and challenging genres and perceptions of reality. This piece comes to Philadelphia on September 20 and 21 for the 2019 Fringe Festival. FringeArts talked to Kelly Copper in May 2019 about the creation of and ideas behind this wild, wild work.

Kelly Copper. © Nature Theater of Oklahoma

FringeArts: What inspired this piece?

Kelly Copper: We don’t typically work from inspiration—but from opportunity. We had had an invitation before from EnKnap in Ljubljana to come and work with their dancers on a project, but at the time we were at work on Life and Times, and struggling with the impossible task of keeping our own company going and that project moving forward. We couldn’t take a time out. Thankfully Iztok Kovac, the company’s director, did not give up. And he finally did hit us at the perfect time. We had finished Life and Times, had no company of actors of our own and were at a moment of personally questioning whether we were interested anymore in making theater—where the pleasure was exactly, in our work and in our life—where was the greater purpose—and whether were we kidding ourselves that there could be a utopian vision for all that. We were disillusioned and broken a bit when we met the dancers of EnKnap, and the process of making this piece was a process of remaking and reimagining ourselves and our work.

Up until this project we had been working with recorded phone conversations as text. Though Pavol and I started as playwrights, we felt we had to disable ourselves in order to discover anything new, so we worked with “found” materials, audio recordings, etc. This piece was part of a process of rediscovering language, finding pleasure in writing again. And also, for the dancers—none of whom had spoken on stage before—a discovery of the voice and its physicality and its relationship to audience.

Read More