The 7th Annual Physical Theater Festival Chicago will happen At Home

What is
Physical Theater Festival?


Physical Theater Festival is an annual contemporary, visual, and physical theater festival that presents new forms of theater that are being performed around the world.


Physical Theater Festival began at Links Hall in the summer of 2014. The seventh annual festival will take place July 17th to July 19th, 2020 at Theater Witt

What will I see at Physical Theater Festival?


The Festival seeks to program work that uses cutting-edge, on-the-pulse theatrical forms that are responding to the contemporary moment using contemporary notions of theater.



The Festival seeks to offer work that elevates the visual aspects of its stories, theater which is occupied with the creation of visual atmospheres and images as much as verbal text.



The Festival seeks to present work that pursues storytelling through primarily physical means, whose aim is to create original stories which start and end with the body as the foundational textual source.

2020 Producer's Board

The Producer’s Board supports Physical Theater Festival Chicago (PTFC) in its mission to make Chicago a home for local, national and international physical theater. Members of the Producer’s Board are tasked with raising funds through a “give or get” model to support the annual summer Festival. Board members enjoy a close relationship with the Festival’s curators.

Amrita Dhaliwal

Elise and Ira Frost

Emily and Matt Roben

Ginger Farley & Bob Shapiro

Maggie Kast

Pat Yuzawa-Rubin and Jack Rubin

Lauren Schrero and Adam Levy

Our Story

In 2014, Alice da Cunha and Marc Frost launched the inaugural Physical Theater Festival through the Artistic Associate program at Links Hall. The inspiration for the Festival drew upon their combined experience in London as physical theater students at the London International School for the Performing Arts (LISPA). Moving from London to Chicago, they were inspired to start a new festival to promote a more progressive, fresh and physical approach to theater-making in Chicago.

The Team


Co-Artistic Directors


Alice da Cunha 

Alice has worked for various festivals. While in London, she was the Marketing Director for CASA (London's Latin American Theatre Festival) and she produced, curated and presented SHORTCUTZ (a weekly short film festival). She was also the Production Assistant for TODOS Festival, an interdisciplinary festival in Lisbon, Portugal. In Chicago she has worked in Hospitality for the Chicago Latino Film Festival. Alice is also an actress and has performed in many plays and films.


Marc Frost

Marc has started two theater companies and one theater festival. At Tufts University, he co-founded Bare Bodkin Theater Company to give student playwrights a platform for their work. In London, he co-created and curated "Physical" (a scratch night for new pieces of physical theater). Back in Chicago, he founded Theater Unspeakable to create devised, physical theater. 


Production Manager


Skye Fort

Skye has worked for several festivals including Revolutions International Theatre Festival, and Pivot Arts Fest. Skye has a bachelors in theatre from the University of New Mexico, where she co-founded the performance company Toaster Puppy Productions. In addition to independently creating her own work in Chicago, Skye is an associate ensemble member at Trap Door Theatre.



House Manager


Andrea Santiago

Andrea is a Chicago based artistic producer, actress with over fifteen years of experience in the entertainment industry.  She has worked in a wide variety of projects including visual arts, theater, music, dance and multimedia works in Latin America and Europe. She is the co-founder and manager-director of the award winning production company Turbina Criativa in Brazil, dedicated to the creation, development and management of artistic projects.


Technical Director


Brandon Moorhead

Richie Schiraldi


Technical Assistant


Nick Plakas

Nick Plakas is a recent college graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a technical theater degree. While there, he stage managed productions such as Sweet Charity and Little Shop of Horrors. Nick plans on staying in Chicago to continue his work in theater. 



Marketing Director


Alex Miranda

Alex de Miranda is a marketing specialist with several years of experience in creative advertising and digital marketing in Brazil and the US. For the past four years, Alex has volunteered for Partners of the Americas coordinating the communications of the Brazilian Film Festival in Chicago, an annual event that shows "Brazilian films with a social conscience." Currently, He is pursuing his Master's Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at Roosevelt University Chicago.

Development Consultant


Lauren Fisher


Content Creator


Connar Brown

Connar Brown is a Chicago based actress with a strong interest in physical storytelling. Some of her favorite roles include Brighella from Servant of Two Masters, Ruth from A Disappearing Number, and the second puppeteer in Avenue Q. She’s also had the pleasure of creating media content for Theater Unspeakable, The LIVINGroom, and Fierce Productions. She’s looking forward to play with the Chicago Physical Festival, expanding her skills on the industry, and sharing Physical Theater to a wider audience.


Press Contact


Jay Kelly

Jay Kelly is a Chicago public relations practitioner with more than 30 years of experience representing non-profit performing arts organizations including theaters, dance companies, music organizations and festivals. Current Jay Kelly PR clients include Chicago Children’s Theatre, the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Collaboraction Theater Company, Lucky Plush Productions, Merit School of Music, Paramount Theatre, RiverEdge Park, Schuler Shook Theatre Planners, Teatro Vista, Theater Wit and
TimeLine Theatre Company. He launched Jay Kelly PR in July 2017, after seven years as Vice President of Arts and Culture at L.C. Williams & Associates, a mid-sized Chicago PR firm. Before that, he was Director of Marketing and PR for two years at Victory Gardens Theater, and managed his own boutique arts PR firm, Off Loop PR, for nearly 15 years, with clients including Victory Gardens, the League of Chicago Theaters, Lookingglass Theatre, Court Theatre and the Metropolis Performing Arts Center. He was an adjunct marketing professor from 2004-2006 with the Theater School of DePaul’s Performing Arts Management Program. He graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Missouri-Columbia. He resides in Chicago’s Logan
Square neighborhood with his wife, Alicia Gonzalez, a foreign language department chair at a top CPS high school. They have two children, Samuel (21) and Pilar (16). Follow Jay on Twitter at @jaykellypr.
Jay Kelly or 312.315.3935


Volunteer Coordinator 


Scott Merchant

Scott is a performance artist and theatre maker celebrating over a decade in the Chicago theatre community. A graduate of the Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University, Scott has had the privilege to perform at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, New Leaf Theatre, Red Twist, Abraham Werewolf, Dog & Pony and is a proud company member of Collaboraction. Scott was Co-director of "TOLLBOOTH: A Clown Show" for First Floor Theatre and a former member of the cult-hit Bouffon troupe Les Enfants Terribles. Over the last several years, he has trained with Eric Davis in Bouffon, Sue Morrison in Pochinko clown in Toronto and with Steve Wasson and Corine Soum in Decroux mime. 

Hospitality Coordinator 

Fate Richey  

Fate Richey is a creator, performer and clown previously based out of Arlington, TX, where she graduated with her BA in Theatre. She also received her certificate in Devised Theatre and Performance at LISPA, currently know as Arthaus Berlin and obtained her MFA in European Devised Performance Practice from Columbia College Chicago. As a newcomer to the Chicago scene, Fate has had the opportunity to perform her original work in the physical theatre variety show Heels Over Head, and she is currently working on two projects, Wild Women and ONEIRONAUTS as a member and co-creator of The Whisper Theatre Collective.

Scratch Night Curator 

Brittany Price Anderson

Brittany Price Anderson is a theatre maker and performer that has lived in Chicago since 2012. She graduated with an MFA in European Devised Performance Practice from Columbia College Chicago and Arthaus Berlin (formerly LISPA) in Germany. She also completed the Professional Training Program at Actors Gymnasium in Evanston, IL, where she focused on aerial silks, tightwire, and partner acrobatics. She is an original devising and touring member of Theatre Unspeakable’s The American Revolution (Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Education), the founder of Heels Over Head: A Physical Variety Show, and the other half of “Britchie”, an acro duo with Richie Schiraldi.

Thank you to our 2020 sponsors and partners: