Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper began collaborating in 1997 and together they founded the theater company 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 theater, combined with popular culture and humor.The company has been commissioned by theaters and festivals around the world, including Soho Repertory Theater, Burgtheater Wien, Vienna; Festival d’Avignon, Avignon, France; the Wexner Center for the Arts, and Salzburger Festspiele. Their first feature length film, Das Große Nature Theater of Oklahoma ruft Euch! (The Great Nature Theater of Oklahoma is Calling You!) premiered July 2014 in Berlin and received its New York premiere in September 2014 as part of French Institute Alliance Française’s Crossing the Line Festival.
Following their FCA support, Copper and Liska received a Doris Duke Performing Artists Award (2013) and an Alpert Award in Theater (2013). Prior to their 2010 Grants to Artists award, Copper and Liska received a Rockefeller MAP Fund Award (2007), an OBIE Award Special Citation for No Dice (2008), and a Salzburg Festival Young Directors Prize for Romeo and Juliet (2008).
Copper earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1993 and an M.F.A. from Brooklyn College in 2007. Liska also earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1995 and an M.F.A. from Columbia University in 2005. They also are the hosts of OK Radio, a series of free podcasts featuring long-form conversations with artists, curators, and instigators.