Thaddeus Phillips is a theater director, performer, set designer, and 2002 Pew Fellow whose creations often juxtapose the everyday with the extraordinary. An imaginative storyteller, Phillips says he views theater as a "liquid art form" and "the stage as a transformational space." His work has been presented in the US and abroad at numerous venues and festivals, including the BAM Next Wave Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, the Perth International Arts Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Center-funded work by Phillips includes Red-Eye to Havre de Grace, an action-opera based on Edgar Allan Poe's final days, which was hailed as "among the most original musical theater works I've seen in years" by The New York Times critic Charles Isherwood. In Microworld(s), a solo piece about a Serbian immigrant, audience members powered the lights by bicycling in the lobby. A recipient of a 2016 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, Phillips earned his BA from Colorado College in Colorado Springs and attended Charles University Theater Academy in Prague. In 2016, Phillips received Center support to devise A Billion Nights On Earth, a visual theater work for children and adults that will blend performance art, pop-up storybook design techniques, and a cinematic score.
Theater artist Thaddeus Phillips, a 2002 Pew Fellow, will create a new bilingual performance work for theater, inspired by his experience working on Colombian telenovela Alias El Mexicano. Phillips' stage project, titled Alias Ellis MacKenzie, will combine the design aesthetics of a film set—complete with boom lights, tripods, and cranes—with the out-of-sequence narrative structure of a TV film schedule, exploring intersections of television and theater. Alias Ellis MacKenzie will be created in Colombia under Phillips' direction, in collaboration with his fellow actors, and performed in Spanish with English subtitles by the largely South American cast. In spring 2015, prior to the world premiere production at Philadelphia's 2015 FringeArts Festival, Phillips will perform a solo lecture/presentation that serves as a primer for the history and characters of Alias Ellis MacKenzie. The collaborative artistic team will also produce a web-based "micro-series" of short scenes to promote the work.
*Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.*