FringeArts' to Present World Premiere of 17 BORDER CROSSINGS, 11/13-17

From Egypt to Singapore, Morocco to Mexico, innovative theater director Thaddeus Phillips takes audiences on a tour of the planet's wildest frontiers with the world premiere of his solo theater work 17 BORDER CROSSINGS. On stage Nov. 13-17 at FringeArts' new waterfront headquarters (140 N. Columbus Blvd.), 17 BORDER CROSSINGS is based on Phillips' experiences crossing borders from one country to the next; the deceptively simple performance piece weaves these accounts into a dramatic, visual and surreal performance that is funny, haunting and surprisingly human. Tickets to 17 BORDER CROSSINGS are available now by calling 215-413-1318 or visiting

17 BORDER CROSSINGS is a theatrical work constructed from over 20 years of international travel that Phillips conducted either researching material or touring existing shows. These "outtakes" were collected and distilled into a series of "mini-plays," each about a different border crossing. These 17 action-based monologues take inspiration from standup comedy, the films of Emir Kusturica, the floor shows of the Tropicana in Havana, musicals about Austria, cheap magic, Waylang Kulit shadow play, native myths of the Amazon and chili relleno recipes. Since Phillips' work is always created based on international research, 17 BORDER CROSSINGS subtly becomes a culmination of the director's theatrical oeuvre.

For this world premiere, Phillips is collaborating with his theatrical mentor, U.K. theater artist Patrick Kealy; Applied Mechanics' Rebecca Wright, (director); Maria Shaplin (lighting); and Tony Award-winner Robert Kaplowitz (sound design). Phillips is the creator of such Fringe Festival favorites as RED-EYE to HAVRE de GRACE (2012), WHaLE OPTICS (2011), ¡EL CONQUISTADOR! (2010), Flamingo/ Winnebago (2007) and Lost Soles (2005). 17 BORDER CROSSINGS began as a series of improvised monologues that were first workshopped at the Painted Bride Art Center and subsequently toured around the world in 2011-13.

Denver's Westword called the workshop production "electrifying," and local theater writer Leah Franqui, who viewed the piece at the Painted Bride in 2011, wrote: "Many of these stories are funny, because Phillips is funny, and because the terror of being held and questioned and yelled at in a language that is not your own is very funny once you are safe at home. And many of these stories are tinged with sadness, with the stupidity of humanity, with the foolish destruction our obsession with separation has caused. And many of these stories are both."



Nov. 13-14, 7 p.m.

Nov. 15, 8 p.m.

Nov. 16, 2 and 8 p.m.

Nov. 17, 2 p.m.

Tickets: $29. Shows play FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19106. Runs 90 minutes, in English with flashes of Serbian, Czech, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Arabic. To purchase tickets, call 215-413-1318 or visit

Following 17 BORDER CROSSINGS in December, FringeArts presents the remount of Pig Iron Theatre Company's beloved 2011 Festival show, Twelfth Night, or What You Will (Dec. 6-22), which the Philadelphia City Paper called "pure magic."

ABOUT Thaddeus Phillips: Thaddeus Phillips is director, designer, actor and artistic director of Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental (LSI), a theater team based in PhiladelphiA. Phillips' works are the most widely toured shows coming out of Philadelphia and have been presented Off-Broadway twice (at Barrow Street Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop), across the U.S. and internationally in Spain, Mexico, Holland, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia, Ireland, England, Costa Rica, Colombia, Scotland and SerbiA. Phillips trained at DAMU in Prague and with Encho Avramov and Czech director Josef Krofta. He has worked with Robert Lepage; performed at the National Theater in London and BAM in New York; and been nominated for Drama League, Lortel and Hewes awards in New York. His is currently playing the notorious drug-smuggling pilot Barry Seal in the MundoFox TV series Alias El Mexicano, which premieres in the U.S. in January 2014.

ABOUT FRINGEARTS: FringeArts supports artists and brings the world's newest and most cutting-edge cultural experiences to Philadelphia, amplifying the vibrancy of the city as a renowned cultural center and an unparalleled place to live, work and visit. Founded in 1997 and formerly known as the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, the organization serves local, national and International Artists of all disciplines and levels of achievement through an annual 16-day Festival along with year-round series of high-quality contemporary dance, theater and music performances; commissioned public art installations; and a residency program that continues to expand and grow as a state-of-the-art incubator for artists.

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