"One of the most unforgettable adventures of my theatergoing experience." Charles Isherwood, The New York Times
Based on the entire "unremarkable" life of a Nature Theater company member, this musical extravaganza uses a 16-hour verbatim transcript of recorded audio as libretto. Presented in five episodes, each with its own genre-warping approach, the tale was generated from the question, "Can you tell me your life story?"
Life and Times: Episode 1 (210 minutes)
The first episode, but the beginning of the saga, covers the early years of childhood, from birth to age eight. Filled with simple moments of insight—the toy you couldn't live without, the next-door neighbor who had a better house, a father who was mysteriously quiet, the sister who never wore shoes.
Life and Times: Episode 2 (120 minutes)
A performance that fuses communist musical and "mass games" rhythmic gymnastic spectacle, Episode 2 picks up the tale from age eight to fourteen: the adolescent years—both fitting in and sticking out of the social group—are expressed through the framework of chorus and chorus line. (And tracksuits.)
Life and Times: Episode 3 & 4 (150 minutes)
Episodes 3 & 4 encompass the high school years (ages fourteen to eighteen) and the desire for freedom from the seeming prison of family life. Experimentation, rebellion, and drug use collide with religion and metaphysics—we encounter first love and first cigarettes. The considerable drama of this particular age is presented within the dramatic conventions of a "locked-room" mystery play.
Life and Times: Episode 4.5 & 5 (90 minutes)
Episode 4.5 starts with the older boys in science class and ends with the comfort of the family cat. This thirty-minute animated film features an original and full orchestral soundtrack. The saga continues in Episode 5 with the first sexual experience made into a 140-page hand-drawn, hand-calligraphed illuminated manuscript, accompanied by a live concert.
Episodes 4.5 & 5 features graphic sexual content and strobe lights.