Nature Theater of Oklahoma

Burt Turrido: An Opera


English /  With German surtitles /  240 mins, intermission after 105 mins.

Two people on stage, one lifting the other up from behind, arm stretched up towards a UFO. A burning forest is shown in the background.
Two people depict a narwhal swimming. A baby doll sits on the whale's back. Waves are simulated with a tarpaulin in the foreground.
Four people are on a tarpaulin representing the water. The movements are generated manually with the plane. One person sits on a pontoon, another swims in the water. A person is dancing in the middle.
In the middle two people are dancing on the tarpaulin with silk scarves. Each person stretches one leg in the opposite direction. In front, a person is lying flat on the ground, wrapped in the tarpaulin.

Nature Theater of Oklahoma is back! In “Burt Turrido: An Opera” a man lost and drowning at sea is rescued by a mysterious woman, who escorts him to the last remaining piece of land left on earth.  Despoiled of vegetation and full of the ghosts of its former inhabitants, the island is ruled by a despotic king and queen, who name their newly discovered castaway Burt Turrido, and make him their slave, and – when he proves too inept at that – their prisoner… With kitschy sets, great emotions, disappointed love and impending death, Nature Theater of Oklahoma subvert the classical opera genre with a spectacular, wild-west performance that purposefully skirts the cliché cliff by a hair’s breadth. The theatre group founded in 1996 in New York and with its Berlin base at HAU, unabashedly dismantles everything it encounters in the way of conventional structures and forms, only to reassemble it with great passion, humour and the courage to take risks.


Text & Direction: Kelly Copper, Pavol Liska / With: Gabel Eiben, Anne Gridley, Robert M. Johanson, Bence Mezei, Kadence Neill / Music: Robert M. Johanson / Set & lighting design: Luka Curk / Costume design: Anna Sünkel / Dramaturgy: Marcus Dross, Katja Herlemann / Set Design Assistant and Props: Hanna Marlene Schnell / Set Design Assistant: Nastja Miheljak / German Translation: Ulrich Blumenbach / Production Manager Künstlerhaus Mousonturm: Anne Kleiner / Management and Distribution: Something Great (Berlin)


  • Past
    Thu 3.11.2022, 19:00 / HAU2
    Fri 4.11.2022, 19:00 / HAU2
    Sat 5.11.2022, 19:00 / HAU2


Production: Nature Theater of Oklahoma (New York City - US), Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt/ M.), Schauspiel Frankfurt (Frankfurt/ M.).
Coproduction: HAU Hebbel Am Ufer, Arctic Arts Festival (Harstad) Athens & Epidaurus Festival, Espoo City Theatre, Kampnagel (Hamburg), Wiener Festwochen,  Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Noorderzon Festival of Performing Arts & Society (Groningen)
Commissioned by: Frankfurter Positionen 2021, an initiative of the BHF-Bank Foundation.
Funded by: German Federal Cultural Foundation and Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege as part of the project series UNLIMITED II promoting exemplary positions in the contemporary performing arts.


Hallesches Ufer 34, 10963 Berlin

Wheelchair users are kindly requested to register their attendance at least one day before the performance. Thank you for your understanding. If you need help, please contact our Ticketing & Service team at +49 (0)30 259004-27 or send us an email to

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