Already closed | 1h 10m | Soho/Tribeca

Nature & Purpose

From 26 member  reviews
Members say: Edgy, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Confusing

About the show

An exploration of the idea of ‘art’ as seen through the works of two radical creators, with two short works, focusing on abstract expressionist ​Jackson Pollock and the controversial performance artist ​Chris Burden​. More…

'Pollock: A Frequency Parable​' is a 30 minute avant operatic sound performance piece inspired by famed painter Jackson Pollock. The play re-conceptualizes key elements used in Pollock’s revolutionary style of art making — such as energy, motion, scale, and improvisation — presenting a challenge to both the performer and the audience to free the voice from the confines of form and language, allowing it to transcend tradition and be experienced for its potential.

'​A Beast/A Burden' combines contemporary theatrical staging with recreations of some of Burden’s most controversial and exciting multimedia and performance pieces, chronicling the life of the young artist, with Burden himself serving as the meandering and sometimes unreliable narrator of his own story.

Member Reviews (26)


Edgy, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Confusing
Avg Score

Disappointing, Overrated, Quirky, Slow

See it if If you want to see an avante g. Play about two avante garde artists. If you want a different kind of play.

Don't see it if You want a consistent well written play. A play that is better than fair at best.

Polarizing, Edgy, Artsy, Ambitious

See it if you want to see 2 well-executed multi-media performance art pieces celebrating the work of experimental/influential artists Pollack & Burden

Don't see it if you don't appreciate radical, unconventional, experimental performance art; you are not interested in the question, "What is art?"

Also One could make an easy argument that both plays are pretentious and se... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Sonic, Arty, Uneven, Multimedia

See it if you'd like to see 2 performance art projects that take their inspirations from the lives & work of 2 signature post-World War II US artists.

Don't see it if you’re looking for a play: only 1 of these pieces has anything like drama, only sometimes, & drama is its weakest ingredient.

Also The shorter piece of this duo, inspired by abstract expressionist Jack... Read more Read less

Clever, Edgy, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if you enjoy performance art, these pieces based on artists and their works offer great vocalizing to interesting music and video & tense acts.

Don't see it if you are seeking a play - there is minimal acting here as this is new interpretation of artist works.

Ambitious, Confusing, Great staging, Indulgent, Thought-provoking

See it if You're familiar w/the work of Pollack & Burden. You enjoy alternative storytelling. You like plays about process. You like multi-media work.

Don't see it if You like linear, traditional storytelling. You want a biography or explanation of the artists' work. You dislike multi-media pieces.

Also 2 plays, 2 reviews:... Read more Read less

Confusing, Disappointing, Edgy, Dizzying

See it if Two art show very different from the norm. One with sounds to music. Second is about the artist past art show.

Don't see it if you are not opened mind, or if you like normal.

Also First act talks about Modern art and singing with sound vocals that at... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Humorous, Edgy, Quirky

See it if you like avant-garde works about avant-garde artists

Don't see it if you're looking for an in depth bio of the subjects

Also I had two very different reactions to the two pieces. The first seemed... Read more Read less

Edgy, Confusing, Clever, Funny

See it if You like weird theater that treads the line between interesting and so bad it’s good. Usually funny shows that explore art in a fun way.

Don't see it if You like plot and are bothered by at times a lack of clarity if intent. Is it serious, is it a farce? This play might be a disaster or not.

Clever, Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if You enjoy weird performance art and the unusual theater performance

Don't see it if you want a basic drama or ordinary play

Entertaining, Quirky, Indulgent

See it if you like performance art and quirky, but cleverly written, ensemble hijinks.

Don't see it if you dislike performance art or experimental theater.

Also The Jackson Pollock piece still had sound issues. The music was in per... Read more Read less

Funny, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if have any interest in art, especially in Chris Burden, his performance art, and pursuit of the question “what is art”. Fascinating!

Don't see it if Both plays were well acted. The first portion was way too loud, and except for the video, had no apparent relationship to Jackson Pollock.

Ambitious, Quirky, Edgy

See it if You are an art fan and like experimental theater

Don't see it if You don't have earplugs for the first piece. The glam rock vocals were excruciatingly loud. Second piece was interesting but fluffy.

Also There were serious issues with the sound. It was very clear but with t... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if you are interested in art, avant-garde, wonder what art is and what purpose it should have. You like smart and thought provoking productions

Don't see it if you need elaborate staging, big cast, easy entertainment.

Also Even for skeptics of more provocative forms of art this play would be ... Read more Read less

Excruciating, Confusing, Banal

See it if you enjoy aggressive performance art.

Don't see it if you seek clear narratives or comfortable seats/leg room (practically none exists).

Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy

See it if You want to see actor recreate performance artist Burden’s stunts. You enjoy performances with video backdrops.

Don't see it if If you are not willing to endure something experimental.

Clever, Thought-provoking, Edgy

See it if you like two well-executed multi-media performances celebrating the work of experimental artists Pollack and Burden

Don't see it if you need elaborate staging, sets, a large cast and/or easy entertainment.

Disappointing, Quirky, Strange

See it if You like strange theater. the actors really cared about the show.

Don't see it if You want to stay awake - I slept through most of it.

Confusing, Disappointing, Slow, Indulgent, Intense

See it if You enjoy one-man shows that lean toward abstract, non linear performances.

Don't see it if You enjoy story driven plot or are hoping to learn about either artist. The show consists of wordless song and spare monologues.

Ambitious, Confusing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if You have a fascination in performance art. The Pollock piece was particularly compelling.

Don't see it if You hate performance art.

Clever, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if you respect imaginative undertakings and enjoy very good ensemble performances.

Don't see it if you like linear scripts and traditional staging. Also, if VERY LOUD nonsense syllables are distressing.

Edgy, Entertaining, Great singing, Thought-provoking

See it if You are interested in unusual performances, AMAZING Singing, and artists who defined their generations

Don't see it if If you're expecting a "play" Both shows get high marks for creativity and splendid performances

Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to learn about a fascinating performer as interpreted by an absorbing lead performance.

Don't see it if You have issues with non linear narratives.

Ambitious, Edgy, Great staging

See it if You're into performance art or more edgy plays. Both shows certainly push the envelope.

Don't see it if You're not familiar with the work of Pollock or Burden.

Absorbing, Edgy, Great writing, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if If you appreciate out-of-the-box subjects. If you’re open to seeing another persons perspective.

Don't see it if If your mind isn’t open to learning about a subject from another persons perspective.

Great singing, Edgy, Dizzying, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if If you want to hear a vocal performance that is off the charts and a performance art/play hybrid that is well crafted and fun

Don't see it if You don't get performance art or prefer a drama or comedy.

“Nature & Purpose” hasn't been reviewed by any Critics (yet!)

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