Already closed | 1h 10m | East Village

This is Why We Live

From 10 member  reviews
Members say: Clever, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Delightful, Entertaining

About the show

Combining physical theater, live music and clown; two actors and a cellist bring to life the ironic and astonishing poetry of Nobel Prize-winning poet Wisława Szymborska. More…

From the show:

Performed in three languages with original musical score throughout, the play awakens us to the poetic state of wonder and a fragmented humanity with incredible insight, humor and precision. From a tango to a devotion to onions; to conversation with stones and the stars above, This Is Why We Live is a celebration of the complexity of human existence and the poet herself, one of the greatest voices of the 20th century.

Member Reviews (10)


Clever, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Delightful, Entertaining
Avg Score

Creative, Slow, Pensive, Artistic, Quirky

See it if Talented performances by the cellist and clown-dancers. Creative interpretations of the poems. Humorous and a bit morbid.

Don't see it if I guess I wasn’t a big fan of the poetry. After a while, I found it boring. Especially when it got existentialist & self-deprecating.

Poetic, Lovely musical accompaniment, Multi-lingual, Physical, Absorbing

See it if you might like a pleasant evening of choreographed responses to several quirky, concrete yet philosophical poems of a Nobel prize winner.

Don't see it if you are looking for a play.

Also I became interested in the work of the astonishing poet Wisława Szymbo... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Delightful, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you would enjoy 19 vignettes based around poetry, wonderfully brought to life by two actors/dancers/reciters accompanied by a solo cellist.

Don't see it if you are looking for a play - this is performance art with some foreign language, most of which is interpreted on screen in English.

Wimpy direction, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you want to see performance art done at it's finest.

Don't see it if you want a curated show to true to the intent of author and not suppressed by the fears of the director.

Also I can't read Polish, but I can't imagine that the source work provided... Read more Read less

Universal meaning & humor, Embodiment of poetic genius

See it if you love poetry & will enjoy a theatrical delivery of 21 works by laureate Wisława Szymborska, so full-bodied it brings her back to life.

Don't see it if you dislike poetry, multilingual readings (English, French & Polish, w/ supertitles), mime, interaction w/ audience. 80 minutes

Also Alaine Hutton, Elodie Monteau & Dobrochna Zubek & Open Heart Surgery T... Read more Read less

Fly why

See it if You want an entirely new theatrical experience which downplays characters.

Don't see it if You hate artsy, avant garde work and cello playing.

Also Open Heart Surgery Theatre created a tour de force. I neither knew nor... Read more Read less

Great cellist, accomplished dancers, Whimsy sometimes tips over into cutesy, Multilingual multimedia response to symborska

See it if a brief (80 min) attempt at theatricalizing the ironic elegance of the Polish Nobelist through movement, music and dramatic recitation

Don't see it if perhaps wisely, doesn't attempt to limn Symborska's essential darker aspects

Also The evening is pleasant enough, and, if you are already a Symborska fa... Read more Read less

Great writing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if Show w/grt act abt the poems of NobelPrize win W Szymborska. Coreo music&minimalist set all work seamlessly w/exquisite poems abt ppl &life.

Don't see it if not fond of performing arts in SOME transl foreign lang;however another reaso to see show is to open up to a multicultural unique experience

Also The poetry of Polish Wislawa Szymborska... Read more Read less


See it if You enjoy multidisciplinary story telling and "downtown" type theater

Don't see it if Looking for traditional theater and story telling.

Also Acting: B... Read more Read less

Funny, Exquisite, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting

See it if You are up for a fabulously refreshing piece of physical theatre which takes you on a delightful and moving poetical adventure

Don't see it if You don’t like devised intellectual theatre, even if approachable. But SEE IT! It is a work of art that nourishes the soul.

“This is Why We Live” hasn't been reviewed by any Critics (yet!)

Cast & Creatives (2)