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We come to filmmaking from the outside, as extraterrestrials, disinterested in the so-called business aspects of the art form.
Both of us started as playwrights. But we found we did our best work when we didn’t entirely control the work we were doing. So much of our work in theater has been about finding ways to shift control out of our hands. To find ways to invite chance, life, air, error…

We always strive to be in a situation where neither of us has the upper hand, so we’re both working from a place of ignorance and unease. There are some points in the work where what we do is clearly visible and divisible. Anyone who’s worked with us knows that Pavol generally gives direction to the actors. Kelly generally takes charge of the editing and post-production. But neither of us works in those areas in isolation. We’re constantly talking and consulting with each other. There are always two people engaged in every aspect.

When you’re a couple who makes work together, everyone wants to know how you divide the workload, but we really try not to bow to outside pressure to create fixed roles for ourselves. Even the name, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, we originally took to better obscure authorship and evade the question.

After so many years of working through things together, and problem solving, you gain a confidence in your ability to adapt and survive. We trust that there’s something to be gained if we can just stay present and open. We trust that one of us will come up with something.

Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska founded the performance group “Nature Theater of Oklahoma” in New York in 1996 and have worked together since then. Die Kinder der Toten is their first film project and is based on the novel of the same name by Elfriede Jelinek.

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
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