600 Highwaymen: A THOUSAND WAYS (Part One): A Phone Call
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600 Highwaymen: A THOUSAND WAYS (Part One): A Phone Call

Collage of line drawings of various elements; car, bird, phone, hands, pencil
600 Highwaymen, A THOUSAND WAYS (Part One): A Phone Call. Image: Cass Sachs-Michaels.

“[A THOUSAND WAYS] … takes a simple premise and turns it into magic.” —The New Yorker

Obie Award–winning theatermakers 600 Highwaymen are known for exhilarating performances that challenge the very definition of theater (their acclaimed The Fever was a hit of the Walker’s Out There 2018). With A THOUSAND WAYS, Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone have created a quietly radical, deeply humanistic response to our current COVID-19 reality. Each installment presents an opportunity to connect with a stranger, offering a moving moment of showing up for one another. Exploring the line between strangeness and kinship, distance and proximity, these experiences are designed around physical distancing rules to meet participants where they are and when they are.

Part One: A Phone Call

On a simple phone call, you and another audience member—someone you do not know—follow a carefully crafted set of directives. Over the course of the journey, a portrait of each other emerges through fleeting moments of exposure and the simple sound of an unseen voice.

A post-experience Q&A with the artists will be offered via Zoom on Wednesday, March 17 at 7 pm (CDT).

Due to the unique nature of this performance, please read all the important information below before purchasing tickets.

Details about Part Two: An Encounter are available here.

Important Information for Part One: A Phone Call

Because this experience is for you and one other audience member, it cannot take place without your presence.

How does it work?
Twenty-four hours before, we will send you an email with a phone number to call at your scheduled event time. Another audience member will do the same. You will be met by a voice that will guide the two of you.

Can I participate in this performance with another member of my household?
Tickets are for one person only. Members of the same household must have their own ticket and use separate devices to join the event. We will make every effort to pair members of the same household with someone they do not know.

Where should I call from?
Your current place of residence, in a quiet indoor space with a strong telephone signal.

What kind of phone do I need?
Any cordless phone will work! All that matters is that it’s charged and ready to go.

Can I use headphones to take the call?
Headphones, yes. (Bluetooth/wireless headphones are not recommended.) Speakerphone, no.

I’m calling from another country, what should I do?
Our staff will assist you in obtaining a local number. In addition, all calls are scheduled in Central Time. Please note, Daylight Savings Time begins on March 14, 2021.

What if I can only attend Part One or Part Two, but not both?
We strongly encourage audience members to participate in both parts in order to gain the full experience of the work, however, a commitment to both parts is not required. Each part is a self-contained, complete artistic experience.

Will I need to be able to “act” for this performance?
No acting is required!

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

Total runtime: 45–60 minutes. Recommended for ages 16 and up.


by 600 Highwaymen
written & created by Abigail Browde & Michael Silverstone

Executive Producer: Thomas O. Kriegsmann / ArKtype
Line Producer: Cynthia J. Tong
Dramaturg & Project Design: Andrew Kircher
Sound Design for Part One: A Phone Call: Stanley Mathabane

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.

  • Program support provided by Producers’ Council member King’s Fountain/Barbara Watson Pillsbury.