Thaddeus Phillips: The Almost Ex-Pat

The actor/playwright can’t quite quit you, Philadelphia.

The last time we saw the debonair Thaddeus Phillips, he was living in South Philadelphia and enamoring the 2010 Live Arts crowd with his one-man El Conquistador, a deft mix of physical theater, synchronized video, and Phillips’s infallible timing. Since then, he moved to Bogotá with his wife, Colombian actress Tatiana Mallarino. But this month, Phillips, 38, returns to prepare his newest creation, the classical monologue-inspired 17 Border Crossings, another solo performance, which opens April 1st at the Painted Bride.

Crossings is based on Phillips’s experiences entering countries during the 12-year span between the fall of the Berlin Wall and that of the Twin Towers. “It was this cool period with no communism… America had no enemy,” says Phillips, before launching into a meandering (though strangely energetic) tangent on Henry V and the history of the passport — which may end up in the show. “I’m working on a structure that’s like The Atlas by William Vollmann — fragments glued together with footnotes,” he says. “And between fragments number six and seven, I’m thinking a monologue on passports.”

Phillips will be back for September’s Live Arts Festival to debut Whale Optics, in which he’ll give the theatrical treatment to underwater fiber-optic cables, humpback whale songs and the sounds of the ocean. “It’s a big, epic piece,” he promises.

Appears someone has watched Star Trek IV a few too many times. And we like it.

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