Physical Theater Festival Line-Up Announced

Physical Theater Festival Line-Up Announced

Pictured: “Next Door” by Out of Balanz

by Jason Epperson

Returning for its sixth year, Chicago’s Physical Theater Festival will present a slate of live storytelling told through physical and visual means. Festival Directors Alice da Cunha and Marc Frost announced today three acts from Denmark, the UK and Chicago that will perform at the festival.

“Next Door” by Danish company Out of Balanz opens the festival, returning after a sold-out run in the inaugural year. This physical comedy celebrates the importance of relationships and what connects all of us. Performances are Thursday, May 31 at 7 p.m., Friday, June 1 at 9 p.m. and Saturday, June 2 at 2 p.m.

Chicago’s Aura CuriAtlas Physical Theatre follows, with “A Life with No Limits,” inspired by the life and work of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, The wordless piece tells the story through dance, theater, acrobatics, and original music. “A Life with No Limits” performs Monday and Tuesday, June 3 and 4 at 7 p.m.

“Freeman,” by the UK’s Strictly Arts, will be the largest international production ever presented at Physical Theater Festival Chicago. A hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, “Freeman” is inspired by the first man in America to plead insanity as his defense. Using physical theater, spoken word, gospel singing, and shadow puppetry, “Freeman” will bring together six true stories to examine the link between mental health and systemic racism. Freeman will close the festival with performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 6, 7 and 8 at 9 p.m.

Two more international acts, a late night presentation, and workshops are yet to be announced.

“Physical theater embraces such a wide variety of styles, approaches and aesthetics including clown, puppetry, mime, mask, dance, theater, vaudeville and circus, stop motion film and poetry to name just a few,” said Festival Co-Director Alice da Cunha. “Chicago is fortunate to be home to one of the best, most eclectic and adventurous theater audiences in the world. So ‘let’s get physical,’ Chicago. This is your chance to see an eye-opening variety of contemporary physical theater styles, artists and companies from around the globe.”

Physical Theater Festival Chicago will perform at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Festival passes ($50 and $65) and single tickets ($15-$20) are on sale now at

About author

Jason Epperson

Jason is a producer, manager, and designer with 17 years of experience in Chicago, New York, and in the touring market. In 2015, he founded Lotus Theatricals - the publisher of Performink, and an independent commercial producing company - with Abigail Trabue.