several hands reaching out for each other


A Thousand Ways (Part One)
A Phone Call
Virtual Event
March 1 – 14
various times

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Suggested ticket donation is $15. Tickets start at $0. Registration for each performance closes 48 hours in advance of the event time.

A map for finding each other, even when we’re apart.

600 HIGHWAYMEN is returning to Carolina Performing Arts with an enthralling, imaginative, and profound social experience that delivers us from isolation to congregation. Join us for the first installment of a performance in three phases about communion, distance, and reconnection from one of the world’s most acclaimed theater companies.

In this time, when we’re accustomed to division and isolation is required, A Thousand Ways offers a chance to experience new ways of coming together. This quietly radical experiment takes place over several months, with each distinct installment presenting a new chance at making simple contact with a stranger. 

“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.” – New York Times

In A Thousand Ways (Part One): A Phone Call, you and another audience member—strangers to one another—take a journey together without ever leaving your homes. Guided by the recorded voice of a narrator over the phone, you’ll follow a set of directives over the course of an hour, forming a unique collaboration in which you’re both the lead character of your own story and the supporting player in someone else’s. A Phone Call is a project about listening, about imagining one another, and holding each other across the line.

blurry hands on a dark background

Patron Testimonials

“At a time when we are disconnected and isolated, the feeling of connection was profound.”

“Like a combination between a seance and a blind date and a memory and a meeting with your best friend before you even knew them…. it was a reminder that we still take care of each other, in the end, in so many ways.”

An exercise in hope in a time when I don’t have much…. [it] left me yearning to do it again.”

How to Participate

Tickets are required for Part One: A Phone Call. To participate: choose your preferred date and time, register for a ticket, and mark it on your calendar. Please note: all calls take place in Eastern Time.

In the 24 hours before the event, you’ll receive a unique phone number to call at the appointed time. A stranger will “meet” you there. 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. Check out our FAQ for more details.

Later in 2021, you’ll be invited to join us for the next installment of A Thousand Ways. Further on, the project will culminate in a gathering of all participants. All phases of this project are ticketed separately.

Recommended for ages 16 and up. Run time approximately 60 minutes. Recording of the call is not permitted. If you have questions or concerns related to accessibility, please contact us.

Read More about Parts two and three


Open to participants from A Phone Call and new participants. 
You and a stranger meet on opposite ends of a table, separated by a pane of glass. Using a script and a few simple objects, a simple exercise of working together becomes an experience of profound connection with another person.


Open to participants from participants from A Phone Call, An Encounter, and new participants.
A public convening made up of you and every stranger 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. This final installment is a chance to feel the power and complexities of group assembly.


Since 2009, 600 HIGHWAYMEN (Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone) have been making live art that, through a variety of radical approaches, illuminates the inherent poignancy of people coming together. The work exists at the intersection of theater, dance, contemporary performance, and civic encounter. Though the processes are varied, each project revolves around the same curiosity: what occurs in the live encounter between people. Their production The Fever was part of the inaugural season of CPA’s CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio in spring 2017.

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600 HIGHWAYMEN has been called the “the standard-bearers of contemporary theater-making” by Le Monde, and “one of New York’s best nontraditional theater companies” by the New Yorker. They have received commissions from The Public Theater, Temple Contemporary, Salzburg Festival, and Festival Theaterformen. They are recipients of an Obie Award and Switzerland’s ZKB Patronize Prize, and nominees for Austria’s Nestroy Prize, the prestigious Alpert Award and NYC’s Bessie Award. In 2016, Browde and Silverstone were named artist fellows by the New York Foundation for the Arts. 

A Thousand Ways 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
Part One Sound Design: 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, USA. Original support for the production was provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia.

Photo credits: Maria Baranova

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