Stage Door News

Toronto: Canadian Stage presents “A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call” November 4-22

Friday, October 30, 2020

In a time when we're accustomed to division and isolation is required, Canadian Stage is excited to launch the special year-long residency of celebrated New York City-based company 600 Highwayman, getting underway in early November.  Most recently in Toronto to present The Fever at the 2018 Luminato Festival, 600 Highwayman members Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone will be sharing three new works over the course of nine months that respond directly to the social impact of the pandemic, in the new triptych A Thousand Ways.

As theatre-makers around the world explore the question of what theatre can be right now and what it will look like in the future, 600 Highwaymen bring an offering that mines theatre from the thrillingly simple and vulnerable space between two strangers,” says Canadian Stage Artistic Director Brendan Healy.The company has been exploring this fertile space in innovative ways since their inception and we feel very fortunate to have them in residence with us at this time, to share this work with our audiences and to inspire our own artistic explorations.

A quietly radical experiment, A Thousand Ways offers a chance to experience new ways of coming together in a three-part journey that takes place over several months, with each distinct installment presenting a new chance at making simple contact with a stranger.  Guided by a score of instructions, questions, prompts, and physical directives, people who have never met build a series of performances for one another. 

The first installment in the triptych is a Phone Call. Pick up the phone. Someone is on the line. You don’t know their name and you still won’t when the hour is over, but as you follow the recorded instructions, a portrait of your partner will emerge through fleeting moments of exposure.

In the future, on dates to-be-announced, An Encounter and An Assembly (parts 2 and 3) will be presented. The pieces have been created to work collectively or independently. You can attend only one or be a part of any two, or all three.

This production was commissioned by The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, Stanford Live at Stanford University, and Festival Theaterformen, and was originally commissioned and co-conceived by Temple Contemporary at Temple University, USA. Original support for the production was provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia.

A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call runs November 4 – 22, Tuesday to Saturday at 6:00pm, 7:30pm, and 9:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm, 3:30pm, and 5:00pm.  Tickets can be purchased at canadianstage.com or by calling the box-office at 416-368-3110 or in person at the Berkeley Street box office located at 26 Berkeley Street.

Illustration: A Thousand Ways (detail). © 2020 Cass Sachs-Michael.