University of Oklahoma Lab Theatre offers up a triple shot of chaos in 'Life x 3' 

The University of Oklahoma School of Drama Lab Theatre presents "Life x 3" by French playwright Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton.

The play tells the story of a disastrous dinner party hosted by a young astrophysicist named Henry who is looking to impress his superior, Hubert, in the hopes of earning a promotion. All of Henry's well-laid plans go out the door though when Hubert and his wife show up a day early and chaos, quite literally, ensues.

Throughout the play, Reza uses straightforward simplicity to combine light comedy with heavy subject matter while exploring the effects of chaos theory "? demonstrating how the smallest, most infinitesimal occurrences can affect the cosmos, or in this case how that might apply to something as insignificant as a dinner party gone awry. To illustrate this point, the play shows how the same evening might play out in three different ways when subtle changes occur.

 "One little thing, one little tweak, like what kind of Cheez-It you serve, can change the outcome of a situation or how you are going to react," explained Director Lee Neibert. "We only see three versions, but there could
be infinite possibilities."

Neibert said that because the two men are astrophysicists, the play is able to delve into some heady subject matter, and benefits from the perspective gained from the character's profession.

"They look up to the sky and study galaxies and it kind of makes you think about how small we really are in the universe and makes you think, 'Why are we sitting here bellyaching about a job and a promotion when we are just these little people?'" Neibert said.

"Life x 3" might be a little dark, but Neibert assures it still offers plenty of comedy. He explained that most of the play's humor is born from the characters as they try to maintain a sense of decorum while dealing with a number of unexpected challenges.

"The language is just really intelligent "? the use of wit as a weapon to gain power over another character is present throughout the play," Neibert said. "There's constant game playing and status shifts as well. I've been calling it a contemporary absurdist comedy of manners."

Neibert said the setting for "Life" is a little out of the ordinary for OU Lab Theatre productions due to renovations currently being staged at the Lab Theatre.

The staging for each act will change to take advantage of the circular setting and give the audience a different perspective for each variation of the story, Neibert said. 

"?Eric Webb

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