A Thousand Ways


A Thousand Ways


Created by 600 Highwaymen

June 3 – 20
Tickets $25 | Run time: 45-60 minutes
Recommended for ages 16+

Nested at the center of an empty space is a small table bisected by glass. You sit at the table, opposite a stranger, with a stack of notecards and a set of instructions to guide you. What will come from this private piece of theatre? It is a chance at being heard, a brave moment to show up.

About the Project

A Thousand Ways is a triptych of encounters between strangers. Guided by a score of instructions, questions, prompts, and physical directives, people who have never met build a series of performances for one another. Each installment of the piece explores the line between strangeness and kinship, distance and proximity, and how the most intimate assembly can become profoundly radical.

A Thousand Ways at La Jolla Playhouse is made possible in part by generous support from Stephanie Bergsma and Dwight Hare.

Creative Team

600 Highwaymen600 Highwaymen (Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone) are a theatermaking duo who are aiming at a radical approach to making live art by creating intimacy amongst strangers and illuminating the inherent poignancy of people coming together. Their work, which they’ve been making since 2009, exists at the intersection of theater, dance, contemporary performance, and civic encounter.

Executive Producer: ArKtype / Thomas O. Kriegsmann
Line Producer: Cynthia J. Tong
Dramaturg & Project Design: Andrew Kircher

This production was commissioned by The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, Stanford Live at Stanford University, Festival Theaterformen, and The Public Theater, and was originally commissioned and co-conceived by Temple Contemporary at Temple University. Part One: A Phone Call was developed in partnership with On the Boards production and technical teams. Original support for the production was provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia.

“The term ‘experimental’ tends to signal an ambition to flaunt difficulty and occlude meaning, but 600 Highwaymen’s experiments with theatrical form are distinctly generous. That is the case with A Thousand Ways, which takes a simple premise and turns it into magic.”
» The New Yorker

“Represents truly adventurous, assumption-busting thinking about what theater is and what it can be.”
» SF Chronicle

“Achieves more goals of theater — telling stories, triggering imagination, nurturing empathy, fostering connection — than nearly any other show I have experienced since pre-pandemic days.”
» The New York Times

What COVID-19 safety protocols are in place for this event?
Please see the COVID-19 Safety page for more information.

This experience cannot take place without you.
This is an experience for two people – just you and another ticket holder. The other person is counting on your attendance. If you do not attend, the experience cannot take place.

Can I participate in this performance with another member of my household?
The experience is for two people who do not know each other.

What if I did not attend Part One?
Each part is a self-contained, complete artistic experience. Feel free to attend Part Two if you didn’t have a chance to attend Part One.

What will I be doing?
After being guided to a large indoor rehearsal hall, you’ll be sitting across from someone, reading (sometimes aloud and sometimes in silence) from a stack of notecards. Sometimes you’ll be given things to say or small tasks to do. You and the person across from you will stay seated at the table the entire time.

What else do I need to know?
Due to the intimate nature of this experience, we cannot accommodate late arrivals.

Part 1: A Phone Call

Tickets are no longer available for Part 1.

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 through this exchange – as you follow a thread of automated prompts – a portrait of your partner will emerge through fleeting moments of exposure.

Part 3: An Assembly

Part 3 will be announced at a later date.

A public convening made up of you and the other strangers from this project’s journey. Using a shared script, all of us who have previously met across distance come together for a final collective experience.

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Top banner credit: illustration by Cass Sachs-Michaels

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