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Physical Theatre

Physical theatre is a genre of performance that relies on movement more heavily than text. You can watch a performance of Oranges and Stones, a play without words from Ashtar Theatre, or read about the 2015 controversy over Synetic Theater’s physical theatre productions of Shakespeare’s work.

The Latest

Improvisation
Podcast
Improvisation
by Zsófi Kozma, Bíborka Béres, Ernő Zoltán Rubik, Viola Levai, Zoltán Grecsó
28 September 2022
Visual Arts
Podcast
Visual Arts
by Zsófi Kozma, Bíborka Béres, Eszter Kálmán, Beatrix Simkó, Hollow Systems
21 September 2022
Moving Theatre Toward Collective Self-Defense: Virginia Grise’s Your Healing is Killing Me
Essay
Moving Theatre Toward Collective Self-Defense: Virginia Grise’s Your Healing is Killing Me
by Marci R. McMahon
26 May 2022
Round headshots of speakers on a yellow background with podcast title
Improvisation
Podcast

Improvisation

28 September 2022

In this episode, co-hosts Zsófi and Bíborka talk about the practice and art of improvisation with three outstanding figures from the Hungarian contemporary dance and jazz scene: Zoltán Grecsó, a dancer, choreographer, and founder of Budapest’s improvised dance evening series Willany Leó; Viola Lévai, a dancer and teacher of contact improvisation; and Ernő Zoltán Rubik, a musician, composer, dancer, and an active member of the Hungarian free jazz and contact improvisation scene.

PUHA Podcast Teaser.
Visual Arts
Podcast

Visual Arts

21 September 2022

In the third episode of PUHA podcast, co-hosts Zsófi and Bíborka talk to the interdisciplinary collective Hollow, the experimental scenographer Eszter Kálmán, and dancer-choreographer Beatrix Simkó. Together, they discuss how their work features across different media and mixes visual and digital art with performativity. Get ready for a journey across household noise choreographies, moving bodies in Vienna’s Leopold Museum, underground queer communities in Tbilisi, and stories of friendship and pregnancy in performance art!

One actor stands on stage under a spotlight, kicking towards the audience.
Moving Theatre Toward Collective Self-Defense: Virginia Grise’s Your Healing is Killing Me
Essay

Moving Theatre Toward Collective Self-Defense: Virginia Grise’s Your Healing is Killing Me

26 May 2022

Educator and writer Marci McMahon reflects on her experience seeing Virginia Grise’s movement manifesto Your Healing is Killing Me at Cara Mía Theatre Co.

event poster with text details for unrehearsed futures episode nine.
MASTER-LESS
Video

MASTER-LESS

Episode 9: Women Teaching Physical Theatre

Thursday 3 June 2021
South Africa

Unrehearsed Futures: MASTER-LESS livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Thursday 3 June 2021 at 4 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 9 a.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 10 a.m. SAST (Cape Town, UTC +2) / 1:30 p.m. IST (Mumbai, UTC +5:30) / 6 p.m. AEST (Hobart, UTC +10).

event poster with text for episode 6 of unrehearsed futures.
Unrehearsed Futures: Serious Play
Video

Unrehearsed Futures: Serious Play

Towards Decolonizing Physical Theatre Pedagogies

Thursday 13 May 2021
South Africa

Presenting Unrehearsed Futures: Serious Play livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Thursday 13 May 2021 at 4 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 9 a.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 10 a.m. SAST (Cape Town, UTC +2) / 1:30 p.m. IST (Mumbai, UTC +5:30) / 6 p.m. AEST (Hobart, UTC +10).

three people standing outside
Liberating Terror
Essay

Liberating Terror

Clown and Activism

13 November 2020

Sayda Trujillo talks about white supremacy’s prevalence in clown pedagogy and shares how the invincible spirit of the clown has shaped her, “seeping through every tiny crack possible to make itself present to speak, to laugh, to sing, to bounce, to witness, and to encounter.”

Glod in red, a silhouette of a person with their arm raised.
Ashtar Theatre’s Oranges and Stones
Video

Ashtar Theatre’s Oranges and Stones

A screening and discussion of a play without words that portrays the reality of persecution in Palestine

Monday 31 August 2020
International

Glod: Political Theatre as a Civil Right presented a screening and conversation on Ashtar Theatre’s Oranges and Stones livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday 31 August 2020 at 10 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 6 p.m. BST (London, UTC +1) / 8 p.m. EEST (Cluj, UTC +3).

a clown nose on a laptop
Theatre, Clown, and Physical Comedy… Online?
Essay

Theatre, Clown, and Physical Comedy… Online?

17 August 2020

Charlie Peters, who has spent the early days of the pandemic thinking about and experimenting with how physical comedy can (and can’t) live online, shares what he’s learned.

“We're Not Learning History...We're Living it"
Essay

“We're Not Learning History...We're Living it"

Underground Railroad Game and the Resurgence of the History Play

17 November 2016

Rosa Schneider reflects on history plays, history, and pedagogy in Undergound Railroad Game created by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott Sheppard with Lightning Rod Special playing at Ars Nova in New York City.

Double Edge Theatre’s Latin American Cycle Builds Bridges Across Massachusetts
Essay

Double Edge Theatre’s Latin American Cycle Builds Bridges Across Massachusetts

20 October 2016

Josh Platt on Double Edge Theatre’s Latin American Spectacle in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Cada Luna Azul / Once a Blue Moon in Ashfield, Massachusetts, and the Springfield Spectacle, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Interview with Thando Doni
Essay

Interview with Thando Doni

15 October 2016

In this last installment, Paul Adolphsen interviews South African theatremaker Thando Doni about his artistic use of language and physical theatre.

Performance of Gale Theatre Company’s Salomé 
Video

Performance of Gale Theatre Company’s Salomé 

Friday 12 August 2016
Austin, TX, United States

Gale Theatre Company and The VORTEX in Austin, Texas presented Salomé, a new physical adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s one act tragedy livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv Friday 12 August at 9 p.m. EDT (New York) / 8 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 6 p.m. PDT (Los Angeles). Share your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram with #howlround.

Physical Theatre and Public Policy Hooliganism
Essay

Physical Theatre and Public Policy Hooliganism

31 July 2015

Blair Ruble addresses the recent criticism of Synetic Theater’s artistic adaptations of Shakespeare. 

Exemplary Youth Theater in Albany Park Theatre Project’s God’s Work
Essay

Exemplary Youth Theater in Albany Park Theatre Project’s God’s Work

6 May 2014

Dani Snyder-Young writes about the Chicago-based Albany Park Theatre Project, a youth theatre ensemble. She reviews APTP's 2014 remounted production of God's Work, at the Goodman Theatre.

Photo from Forgiveness: A Theatrical Poem.
The Mystery of Forgiveness at the Modern Times Stage Company
Essay

The Mystery of Forgiveness at the Modern Times Stage Company

1 April 2014

Matt McGeachy writes about Modern Times Stage Company's Forgiveness: A Theatrical Poem, an intense movement piece exploring the dialetic between forgiveness and forgetting. 

Every Actor's Nightmare, Inverted
Essay

Every Actor's Nightmare, Inverted

21 November 2013

Acting is a physical function. It starts with the body. The body is the instrument. A theater without actors is not a theater; yet theater without words exists the world over.