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 director, performer, and 2002 Pew Fellow Thaddeus Phillips will premiere a visual theater work for children and adults that will blend performance art, pop-up storybook design techniques, and a cinematic score, in collaboration with visual artist Steven Dufala and composer Juan Gabriel Turbay. Expanding traditional notions of children's theater, A Billion Nights On Earth will not include a text, and will instead be anchored by a series of bold visual installations, ranging from a 15-foot inflatable whale and deep sea underwater lights, to floating tents and an electric train. The work will feature an evolving, circus-style environment, inviting audiences to invent their own storylines as the fantastical performance evolves. Phillips says A Billion Nights On Earth will be "created with a child-like logic, where ideas and images don't always connect in a normal way, and fantasy roams freely away from linear reality." Following its debut in Philadelphia, the work will be presented by the Brooklyn Academy of Music at its Next Wave Festival.
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