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Creating new theatre for the Pikes Peak region

Zoo Motel (Virtual)


November 4, 2020—December 19, 2020

Theatre director, designer and performer Thaddeus Phillips, returns to the Millibo via the virtual 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 live from a village in South America where Phillips has been since the pandemic began.

ZOO MOTEL  is about all of us in this moment, and is loosely based on an imagined place Phillips stopped at before the pandemic hit in Iceland while on a forced layover while working on a new international project about the Anthroposcene, our current epoch.  This interactive performance is about one night, or a thousand, in a strange motel room, that serves as a metaphor for humanity on earth. Odd stories about communication, phone booths, missed letters, and dreamlike images come to life an intimate and somehow epic play.

As of today, Colombia remains in one of the worlds strictest quarantines, and Phillips can only venture outside on Wednesdays for 3 hours to get essentials. ZOO MOTEL has been created via an intricate and compacted logistical puzzle in order to send materials and set pieces from Dufala’s studio in Philadelphia to Phillips´ studio in South America.

Working together but apart, Phillips & Dufala have transformed Phillips´ studio into a fictional motel room that could be anywhere on earth and fitted it with a central rotating camera, a Walt Disney inspired multiplane image table, and various transformative set pieces that allow for a constantly moving and shifting perspective and an array of magic, transformations and surprises.

Phillips stages and shoots the show live, interacting with the audiences while reimagining his signature stage craft to this bizarre new format with significant inspiration from the cinematic work of Orson Welles and the theatrical wizardry of Robert Lepage (with whom Phillips has collaborated). 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.

Author: Jim Jackson