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VOX Pop Films Announces The Los Angeles Premiere Of Remote Live Interactive Theatrical Experience ZOO MOTEL


Event runs November 4-December 19.

Theatre director, designer and performer Thaddeus Phillips, returns to Los Angeles virtually with 'ZOO MOTEL'.

Mysterious & playful, and filled with Phillip's hallmark theatricality, ZOO MOTEL is a live (yet remote) interactive & intimate theatrical / cinematic play broadcast via zoom from a village in Colombia, South America and co-created with artist/designer Steven Dufala. Phillips most recently appeared onstage in Los Angeles with "17 Border Crossings" at the Broad Stage in January of this year, and Steven Dufala's extraordinary design work was seen in "Home" by Geoff Sobelle, also at The Broad in March of this year.

This wildly inventive exploration of the possibilities of live virtual theater and the magic of cinema combine a creative use of zoom and complex camera choreography to create a play that has the feel of live movie and a theater play simultaneously. A specially designed miniature camera crane serves as an 'eye' to allow for 360 tracking and panning camera shots and for quickly shifting perspectives across a surreal motel room that is populated with paintings of the Mojave Phone Booth, the Osuchi Wind Phone, a copy of the Voyager Golden Record, a Japanese Maneki-Neko beckoning cat, a miniature Titanic, and various other eclectic surprises in a play/movie about connection & communication.

By purchasing a ticket for ZOO MOTEL, participants reserve one of only 21 'rooms' in the imagined motel. Then an email file which includes a printable room key, motel stationary, a motel brochure and interactive set piece is sent. A deck of cards will also be needed to participate. At showtime, the night clerk opens the motel to welcome guests and then the live interactivetransmission opens the door to specially crafted motel room set designed in collaboration with award winning designer Steven Dufala (Obie award winner and

designer of HOME and THE OBJECT LESSON). The DYI mini camera crane system designed for ZOO MOTEL was inspired from cinema innovations used in 'Citizen Kane' and a multi-plane animation table based on Walt Disney's design was built for multilayered live animations.

Phillips performs the work alone, miraculously operating the camera and interacting with the audiences while employing his signature stagecraft to this bizarre new format. Director

Tatiana Mallarino has been in quarantine with Phillips, and directs by watching the work on a monitor as if on a movie set. New York City's famed sleight of hand master, Steve Cuiffo has been training Phillips over Skype in various magic tricks designed especially for Zoo Motel and the Spanish/Ukrainian dancing team of Fernando & Katya have been sending choreographies for Phillips via instagram from Madrid.

ZOO MOTEL opened on October 5th, 2020 via the Miami Light Project, and is an ode to communication, cinema & the theater and is a unique proposal for how to create a play, specifically for online performance, that can bring together and connect with global

audiences intimately and in a highly theatrical way. After attending opening night, theater director and filmmaker Robert Lepage said "Thaddeus Phillips' Zoo Motel is a playful poem, an act of resistance against the current creative inertia." Guy Mossman, Director & Cinematographer of Vox Pop says: "We saw the opening of ZOO MOTEL online and knew we had tobring this work to Los Angeles audiences as it is essentially a live film, performed with only one camera, yet many unexpected and remarkable shifts in scale and perspectives that are reminiscent of the films of Michel Gondry. Although inspired by film and theater ZOO MOTEL it is its own unique form, birthed from the circumstances of 2020".

Director & Producer of Vox Pop Films Lisa Hepner says: "We saw Thaddeus perform "17 Border Crossings" at The Broad Stage earlier this year and were blown away by his theatrical presence and the way he brings a cinematic sensibility to the stage. ZOO MOTEL feels like a film but is live, thus feels like theater, a very delicious combination, and a wonderful part of ZOO MOTEL is when Phillips breaks the wall of the lens and interacts with the spectators in the other 21 rooms performing card magic, logic games and illusions all integrated into the meaning and narrative of ZOO MOTEL."

Available online at

Given the unique nature and logistics of this production, it is necessary to have a printer and print materials before the show. An email will be sent with a "ZOO MOTEL WELCOME PACK" Pdf, specifically designed by artist Steven Dufala, to be printed and prepared before the show. It is also essential to have a deck of playing cards.

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