Go Deeper

Travel 17 Borders This Weekend With Thaddeus Phillips

Posted March 30th, 2011

Thaddeus Phillips brings his new work 17 BORDERS to the Painted Bride this Friday and Saturday nights. It’s a solo piece that draws on his experiences as a traveling artist, particularly from the fall of the Berlin Wall to 9/11. With a deceptively simple stage he takes audiences to the frontiers of Bosnia, Cuba, Brazil, Colombia, Bali, Czech Republic, Israel, Jordan and Mexico. We asked Thaddeus, who brings WHaLE OPTICS to the 2011 Live Arts Festival (and was seen in ¡EL CONQUISTADOR! in last year’s Festival), a couple of questions about the origins of 17 BORDERS.

Q: Is this your most personal work yet?

THADDEUS PHILLIPS: YES, this is actual border crossing events that have been converted into a theatrical monologue. It is great to create a show in this format—throwing out the structures I normally use for story and characters—this one is literally 17 mini-plays with footnotes in between and subtle links between them. Since the crossings are based on real events, in a way, I just am myself, not playing it. Often people have said that my stories of what a show will be are often more interesting than the shows themselves, 17 BORDER CROSSINGS gets to the raw material directly, from the source.

Q: How long as this show been incubating?

TP: Last year I had this idea. Created it at a studio in Bogota, Colombia in January and February, 2011. The idea came from nowhere. Absolutely. And the framing points were the fall of the Berlin wall (11/9/89) and the twin towers (9/11/01) but since I was creating the piece in January, the events of 1/11/11—the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, etc., have come into play in world events that change borders, societies, etc.

April 1 and 2 at 8pm / $25 / Tickets
Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA

Watch this nifty trailer!

And yet one more from Colorado performance!

–Josh McIlvain