The 99th Annual Physical Theater Festival Chicago is back on July 16

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 ninth annual festival will open on July 16 2022 at Nichols Park for a free day of events and continue at the Den Theater until July 24.

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.

2022 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

Maggie Kast

Lauren Schrero and Adam Levy

Pat Yuzawa-Rubin and Jack Rubin

Laura and Michael Werner

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.

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The 2022 Team


Co-Artistic Directors


ALICE DA CUNHA 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 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. 

Development Consultant


LAUREN FISHER (she/her) is a veteran fundraiser and consultant whose career has been focused around major gift fundraising, building equitable relationships with important stakeholders, capacity building and strategic growth. Lauren spent nearly a decade working at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and the Greater Chicago Food Depository before deciding to work for herself and consult with multi-disciplinary for profit and not-for-profit companies and organizations. Lauren is also a devoted member of the Chicago theatre community and works as an actor around town and as Executive Director of Silent Theatre Company. Lauren is proud wife to June and loving mama to Tali North.


Technical Director

BRAN MOORHEAD is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Chicago. This is their fourth year with the Physical Fest. As tech director they have worked with The Fly Honey Show since 2013, Davenport’s  Piano Bar and Cabaret since 2012, Jackalope Theatre, and First Floor Theatre, to name a few. They have designed productions with Erin Kilmurray, John Cicora, Jackalope, El Bear, Redmoon, and the Grant Park Music Fest. As a performer, they have acted in hundreds of
productions in Chicagoland for the past 11 years, including at The Paramount Theatre, Drury
Lane Oakbrook, The Chopin, The Hideout, The Den, The Inconvenience, and many more. They
are currently the producer of Movie: The Musical, a podcast about movies that have been
adapted into musicals.
You can follow their work at



Marketing Director

ALEX 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.


Press Contact

ALEJANDRO RIERA was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, raised all across the island's metropolitan area, in love with the movies from Day One, started writing my first film reviews and short stories and poems for my high school newspaper. Little did I know that what became an extracurricular activity at school would turn into a full time career…even though I wanted to venture into video production. An entertainment reporter for ¡Exito! and then HOY, later a Senior Editor in charge of features and arts and entertainment for all three editions of HOY (NY, LA and Chicago), I became the editor of the now sadly defunct Café Magazine in 2008, where I took my first stab at original online publishing. I wrote film reviews for CityVida, a Chicago-based entertainment site aimed at bilingual and bicultural Latinos, and am currently writing reviews for and I also freelance/have freelanced as a Media Relations/Publicist/Consultant for several arts organizations and festivals including the Chicago Latino Film Festival, the Chicago International Film Festival, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute and Festival Cubano.


ANAÏS GONZALEZ NYBERG is the Development Manager at VOCEL (Viewing Our Children as Emerging Leaders), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure every child has the foundation to grow, learn, and lead. She is a proud born-and-raised Chicagoan, and she is especially passionate about promoting artistic and educational equity across all of Chicagoland. When not working, she can be found spending time with her family and dogs or with her nose stuck in a book. She has a BA in theatre from Pomona College.


GRACE SARTIN is a recent graduate of Pomona College who majored in Art History. She has received awards and grants such as the Summer Undergraduate Research Project and the Rembrandt Award. While working at the Benton Museum of Art, Grace witnessed great performative art and physical theater. Combining this with her love of social media marketing she assisted in the Physical Theater Festival as a Marketing Manager. 


Scratch Night Curators

BRITTANY PRICE ANDERSON is a theatre maker/performer and educator that has lived in Chicago since 2012. She graduated with an MFA in European Devised Performance Practice, which she earned at Columbia College Chicago and Arthaus Berlin 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, the founder/curator of Heels Over Head: A Physical Variety Show, co-Artistic Director of Whisper Theatre, and a part-time professor at Columbia College Chicago. 


SCOTT MERCHANT 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.