Kelly Copper began collaborating with Pavol Liska in 1997, and together they founded 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 theatre, combined with popular culture and humor. The company has been commissioned by theaters and festivals around the world, including Rhurtriennale, Burgtheater Wien, steirischer herbst, Mousonturm, Schauspielhaus Frankfurt, Festival d'Avignon, Wexner Center for the Arts, and Salzburger Festspiele. Copper and Liska have each been recipients of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award and the Alpert Award in the Arts. They have received two OBIE Awards for their work on "No Dice and Life and Times", and were recipients of the 2018 Nestroy Special Prize in Theater for on "Die Kinder der Toten".
"With each new project, we attempt to set an impossible challenge for ourselves, the audience, and our collaborators — working from inside the codes and confines of established genres and exploding them. No two projects are formally the same, but the work is always full of humor, earnestness, rigor, and the audience plays an essential role - whether as spectators or - just as often - as participants in the work. Using readymade material, found space, gifted properties, cosmic accident, extreme formal manipulation and plain hard work — Nature Theater of Oklahoma makes art to affect a shift in the perception of everyday reality that extends beyond the site of performance and into the world in which we live."