Thaddeus Phillips / USA – Spain

Award-winning director, actor, designer Thaddeus Phillips’ stunning theatrical work that takes audiences across the frontiers of Egypt, Bosnia, Cuba, Brazil, Morocco, Colombia, Austria, Bali, Czech Republic, Israel, Jordan, Serbia, Croatia, Italy, and Mexico. Based on Phillips’ actual adventures, 17 Border Crossings is a dramatic,  funny, highly visual and surreal examination of imaginary lines, arbitrary passports and curious customs.

★★★★ Powerful, vivid storytelling…both enjoyable and enlightening” –The Scotsman

“Inventive...A passport to other countries and to cosmic realms.” –The New York Times

“★★★★ Delightful, witty, gently erudite and humane”   –The Times, London

Duration: 90 minutes.  Ages 12-plus.
Stage/Venue Size: Studio or Proscenium stages from 100 to 800.
Touring Party: 4

★★★★★ “Phillips is a fluid, shifting storyteller, something of a conjuror. As a piece of performance it is technically brilliant, dizzyingly so. Each episode is beautifully rendered, an act of transportation; he is effortlessly multilingual, cursing with aplomb in Serbian, mumbling in Arabic, purring in French as he snaps on a latex glove.” – THE STAGE

★★★★ “The polished piece is wise about the absurd, haphazard nature of borders and the ways in which a country’s immigration policy is a reflection of that nation’s self-image. Thus, in one sequence in 17 Border Crossings, Phillips contrasts the meticulously structured approach of the Israelis to the laid-back attitude of the Jordanian border guards he encounters further down the road. He recounts, with eye-watering precision, his experience of being cavity searched by the French and invokes the network of tunnels that divides Egypt from Gaza – with the punch-line being the delivery of a KFC takeaway rather than the expected cache of arms’. – THE TIMES

★★★★ “Powerful, vivid storytelling, both enjoyable and enlightening . . . well worth experiencing, for its wisdom, its poise, and its long view of a subject that now requires all the calm sense of perspective we can muster”. -THE SCOTSMAN

★★★★ “He’s a born raconteur, Phillips, capable, I’d guess, of making almost any material sing. These, however, are exquisite miniatures, full of life and character, and staged with an effortless ‘empty space’ theatricality. At one point, he recreates a Balinese coffee high merely by shaking a torch in front of his face, casting jittery, far-out shadows on the back wall. Planes, trains and automobiles materialise out of a table, a chair and a homemade lighting rig made of domestic lights. Nations are conveyed with a keen sense of simple specificity: sickly communist greens, sleazy red lights and perky Europop. He’s chased around Europe by Ace of Base”. – THE FEST

Performance History
Brooklyn Academy of Music, USA
Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Scotland, UK
Teatro Nacional, Bogota, Colombia

Arts Emerson, Boston, USA
Hong Kong International Arts Festival
Miami Light Project, Miami, USA
Teatro Mercado, Zaragoza, Spain
Ingenuity Festival, Cleveland, USA
XXXVI Festival de Teatro, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, Pittsburgh, USA
Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, USA
Teatro Jaco, Jaco, Costa Rica
FringeArts, Philadelphia, USA
Spoleto Off Festival, Spoleto, Italy
Buntport Theater, Denver, USA
Wesleyan University, Middletown, USA
Painted Bride, Philadelphia, USA
The MAT!, Colorado Springs, USA
Summer Nights at the Blue Room, Perth, Australia
Week53 Festival, The Lowry, Manchester, UK
Teatromania Festival, Bytom, Poland
Ringling International Arts Festival, Sarasota, USA

Wharton Center, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
The Broad Stage, Santa Monica, CA
Kravitz Center, West Palm Beach, FL

Development for 17 Border Crossings was supported by The Map Fund, and The Wyncote Foundation.