Line-Up Set For PhysFestNYC, New York's Festival Dedicated To Physical Theaters

The festival will take place Jan 5–14, 2024.

By: Dec. 01, 2023
Line-Up Set For PhysFestNYC, New York's Festival Dedicated To Physical Theaters

Broken Box Mime Theater is proud to announce the complete line-up for PhysFestNYC, a new performance festival dedicated to physical theaters taking place January 5–14, 2024 at Stella Adler Center for the Arts (65 Broadway, Manhattan). Co-Executive Produced with B.J. Evans and supported by Clown Gym. PhysFestNYC is a community-focused festival that celebrates, enriches, and envisions the field of physical theater. Over 100 artists and companies will participate in the 10-day festival that features performances, workshops, panels, and community events from practitioners, makers, and companies from all genres of physical theater across two theaters, two studios, and a community-gathering space. Tickets are now on sale at

PhysFestNYC features sixteen unique performances that range from evening-length works with multiple showings to one-off events to split bills that include two to three distinct acts. Highlights include War and Play: A Clown Odyssey of Survival, an immersive, interactive clown show following three clowns through Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine; a best-of collection of original short stories from Broken Box Mime Theater told entirely through movement; a joyful, messy variety show from Clown Gym featuring some of NYC's most beautiful, funny, moving, and weird clowns; and The Crone Chronicles: Reclaiming the Story of Baba Yaga, which features everyone's favorite Soviet Jewish Grandma Clown Baba Yana and her ragtag team of storybook performers. A complete performance line-up can be found below. Performance tickets are $20.


Seventeen one-of-a-kind workshops will take place throughout PhysFestNYC including fundamentals of mask work, butoh, mime, the poetry of objects, house dance, puppetry, and clown work. Some of New York City's leading physical theater teachers including Jean E Taylor, Richard Saudek, Vangeline, Megan Campisi, and Deborah Balardini, will participate, as well as four dance workshops presented by Passion Fruit Dance Company. Workshop tickets are $30.


PhysFestNYC also includes nine free public events, parties, and panels that look at the varied and too-often siloed history of physical theater in the United States along with practical advice on producing and marketing your own show. The goal of these panels, in addition to the workshops and performances, is to create a physical theater festival that opens pathways of communication and opportunities for shared resources, supporting artists in their work and deepening their impact. Moderated by thought leaders and celebrated artists in the field, panels include subjects like What is Physical Theater, Eco-Performance, and Access & Inclusion in Physical Theater.


Becky Baumwoll, Artistic Director of Broken Box Mime Theater and Co-Executive Producer of PhysFestNYC, remarked, “We are thrilled that PhysFestNYC is finally live. The performing arts create spaces for connection, and physical theater has a unique lens on this process by centering what we all have in common: the body. I'm humbled by the breadth and depth of the artists joining us for this inaugural edition of the festival. Creating something from scratch is scary, and exciting, and feels like a big jump into the unknown. As a wise friend told us recently, isn't that how the best art is made? Let's find out!”


PhysFestNYC runs January 5–14, 2024 at Stella Adler Center for the Arts, which is located at 65 Broadway, 2nd Floor, in the Financial District of Manhattan. Stella Adler Center for the Arts is accessible via the R, W trains at Rector St, 4, 5 trains at Wall St, J, Z trains at Broad St, and the 2, 3 trains at Wall St.


Please visit for more information.


PhysFestNYC Performance Line-Up


January 6 at 4pm

Cranky Sub-Aquatic Adventures of The Deep
Performed by Eva Lansberry | Produced by Cranky Pantz Productions

Mon Carton / My Cardboard Box
Created and Performed by Selena Rook | Produced in collaboration with Association Peekaboo

This split bill features two distinct shows. Cranky Sub-Aquatic Adventures of The Deep, a physical comedy and puppet show, is a delightful and imaginative journey into the undersea world. Inspired by the classic underwater documentary series of the 1960s, such as The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, this show follows two intrepid aquanauts as they build their own imaginary undersea world.

Mon Carton is a solo physical theater, dance and object manipulation performance that draws on the simplest of sets to engage viewers with two elements: a performer and a cardboard box. The magic and mystery of a simple, featureless box provides the entry for the audience into a world of discovery and imagination.

January 6 and 7 at 7pm & 8:30pm

War and Play: A Clown Odyssey of Survival
Produced by Danielle Levsky, presented by Butch Mermaid Productions
War and Play is an immersive, interactive clown show following three clowns - Vira, Nadiya, and Lubo - through Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It explores human resilience amidst devastation. The story begins in a Ukrainian town, where Vira and Nadiya, two clown partners in love and life, have their world shattered by the sudden onset of war. As they navigate the ruins of their city and displacement from their homeland, they transform detritus into sources of play and imagination.


January 6 and 7 at 7pm & 8:30pm

The PhysFestNYC Artistic Leadership Circle
The Artistic Leadership Circle (ALC) presents an evening of performance excerpts from the team responsible for the creative design of the inaugural PhysFest 2024: Akil Apollo Davis, Bill Bowers, Lou Sydel, Margarita Blush, Ran Xia, and Selma Trevino. This dynamic collage features a kaleidoscope of diverse forms, aesthetics, themes, and approaches that will captivate your senses.


January 7 at 2pm

Please Ship This Wet Gift
Produced by Brave Bucket
Please Ship This Wet Gift is one clown's presentation about terrible feelings and provides an opportunity for audiences to laugh together about feeling bad. This original work uses audience suggestion & participation, drawing, made-up songs, puppetry, and cardboard sharks to explore dealing with the things in life that are unfair, scary, sad, and just annoying.


January 7 at 4pm

Curated by Bill Bowers, STELLAAA! is a collection of physical pieces, featuring students and alums of the Stella Adler Studio.


January 8 at 7pm & 8:30pm

DOT: A Silent Comedy
Produced by Hope Salas Productions

A Day in the Life of The Clown: And Plastic
Created and performed by Milla Blackwelder

Clown Gym presents: Once Upon a Clown
Produced by Clown Gym and Directed by Julia Proctor

This split bill features three distinct shows. DOT: A Silent Comedy is intended to ignite laughter whilst one reflects on her approach to love, sex, marriage, friendship, loneliness, singleness, motherhood, and the truths and lies of the complex matters of the heart. Milla Blackwelder's A Day in the Life of The Clown: And Plastic addresses themes of self-expression, escapism, materialism, and the human condition. Clown Gym presents: Once Upon a Clown is a playful fairytale inspired show about living your dream and getting what you wished for.


January 8 and 9 at 7pm & 8:30pm

The Crone Chronicles: Reclaiming the Story of Baba Yaga

Created and performed by Josh Levine and Danielle Levsky
Everyone's favorite Soviet Jewish Grandma Clown Baba Yana and her ragtag team of storybook performers are here to tell you the stories of Wise Women. Throughout the show, the actors generate sound and folly using their bodies and minimal props, immersing the audience in the world of the story. The physicality of the performance draws heavily from the teachings of Jacques LeCoq.


January 9 at 7pm & 8:30pm

Clown Gym's Clown Flex: a joyful, messy variety show
Produced by Clown Gym
Come laugh with some of the most beautiful, funny, moving, and weird clowns creating work in New York City! This joyful, messy clown variety show features Aya Tucker with Kevin Allen and Lex Alston, Dante Fuoco, Richard Saudeck, Sara Raj and Lindita Kulla, Tiffany Riley and Dick Monday of the New York Goofs, and host Julia Proctor.


January 10 and 11 at 7pm & 8:30pm

Broken Box Mime Theater
Broken Box Mime Theater (BKBX) presents a best-of collection of original short stories told entirely through movement. Set to rich lighting and a heart-thumping soundtrack, our narratives range from realistic to metaphorical, heart-wrenching to hilarious, and cinematic to intimate, held together by a dedication to the empowered imagination and the collective artistic voice of our diverse company.


January 10 and 11 at 7pm & 8:30pm

The Blu Room Show
Performed by Rob Chen and Directed by Shino Frances
Created and Performed by Maren Westgard
Performed by Nick Mayfield and Directed by Virginia Scott

This split bill features three distinct shows. The Blu Room Show is a one man multilingual, multimedia play about a late-night talk show host covering issues around anti-Asian hate crimes as his grandma tries to call him during work. Glimpses is a theatrical choreography piece utilizing Maren Westgard's primary approach to movement, micro-choreography. Inspired by the life contained within the statue, Glimpses brings Auguste Rodin's raw and contorted sculptures and from stillness to life. In Masc4Mask, one comedian transforms into a cast of characters in this comic extravaganza of queer identity. Part stand-up, part improv, part commedia, character-driven, pantomime-adjacent hijinks.


January 11 at 9:30pm

Chicken Big: Gets Physical
Produced by Chicken Big, a Brooklyn-based comedy trio comprised of Tej Khanna, Ibhan Kulkarni, and Lars Montanaro
Chicken Big: Gets Physical is more than a piece of theater -- it is another rich chapter in Chicken Big's meteoric rise to wealth, status, and fame. An evening of participatory, mostly-improvised comedy, Chicken Big: Gets Physical is part clown, part improv, and a whole lot of chaos. Come through!


January 12 at 7pm & 8:30pm

Why I Live at the P.O.
Performed by Albena Kervanbashieva and Beck Farris; Directed by Haila Strauss
Dearly Departed
Created and performed by Karim Mausher and Produced by Animal Engine

This split bill features two distinct shows. Why I Live at the P.O. is a multidisciplinary physical theater work, encompassing movement, dance, mime, music and spoken word, based on Eudora Welty's short story of the same title about a disgruntled young woman, living in Mississippi in 1941. Physical comedian Karim Muasher explores grief (in a funny way) as a discombobulated widower trying to deliver a eulogy in Dearly Departed. A funeral has never gone so wrong.


January 12 at 7pm & 8:30pm

Fly, You Fools!
Created and Produced by Recent Cutbacks

Three actors and a foley artist band together (in fellowship) to bring you a LIVE shot-for-shot parody of the first chapter of the most epic fantasy trilogy of all time! Using humor, mime, puppetry, and foley, Fly, You Fools! celebrates our love for sci-fi/fantasy as well as physical theater. This hilarious tour-de-force is being remounted in NYC for the first time since 2019, starring Nick Abeel, Kyle Schaefer and Regan Sims, with Blair Busbee on live sound/foley.

January 12 at 8:30pm & 9:45pm

How to BDSM
Created and performed by Brooke Ferris and Produced by A Really Real Serious Collective
Petite Mort
Created and Performed by Giovanna Dalla Vecchia
Who's Your Daddy?
Performed by Gagarin and Directed by Reuven Isaiah Glezer

This split bill features three distinct shows. In How to BDSM, come learn with very serious educator Dr. Professor Scholar Visiting Lecturer (and newly tenured at Oxford) Brooke Ferris, as she demonstrates the world of BDSM. La Petite Mort is a solo coming-of-age piece by Giovanna Dalla Vecchia about navigating one's sexual awakening. Who's your Daddy? is an adaptation of the Elektra story made love to, chewed up and spit out on the other side of trans rebirth.


January 13 at 7pm & 8:30pm, January 14 at 2pm & 4pm

12th Chair Cellist
Created and Performed by Becca Bernard
With These Hands
Performed by Danielle Strader and Malcolm Dalglish
Performed by Rupert Krüger


This split bill features three distinct shows. 12th Chair Cellist tells the autobiographical story of Becca Bernard's relationship to music—a love that was passed down from her parents, shared with her sister, and helped save her from bullies on the bus at school. With These Hands is a stationary movement solo developed around gestures, which may indicate the literal, the metaphorical, or something in-between, delving relentlessly into the dichotomies of what it means to be--physically, psychologically, emotionally--human. Push is a retelling of the myth of Sisyphus, a cautionary tale about the inevitability of death and the power of acceptance.


January 13 at 7pm & 8:30pm, January 14 at 2pm & 4pm

Produced by Tatiana Desardouin and Passion Fruit Dance Company

One Groove
Passion Fruit Dance Company presents One Groove, an evening of street & club dance theater performances featuring Ice-O, Haze, K'niin, Chry Baby, Nubian Néné. Lauriane Ogay, and host Regi Angelou.

About Broken Box Mime Theater


Broken Box Mime Theater (BKBX) is a collaborative theater company that performs original work entirely through movement. Our mission is to activate the imaginations of our audiences, contemporize the art of mime, and remind us all of the power of simple storytelling. Based in NYC and founded in 2011, our version of “mime, redefined” blends techniques of French pantomime, cinema, performance art, and contemporary theater. The 19 artists who call BKBX their artistic home believe in making innovative, provocative theater that erases the spoken language barrier and champions the power of simplicity in performance. More at

About Clown Gym

Clown Gym started in 2014 as a collaborative member-sourced experiment in play and under the direction of Julia Proctor has grown into NYC's home for clown and physical comedy. Clown Gym's mission is to build community, spread joy and support artists as they embrace their humor, beauty, vulnerability, skill, intelligence, and passion. We do this through affordable high-quality training, teacher mentorship programming, new work development, performances, and community events focusing on clown and physical comedy. We aim to create a welcoming space for folks to train, connect, and perform so that more people get to play and decide the rules of the game.

About Stella Adler Center for the Arts

Established in 1949, the studio was founded upon Stella's belief in the supreme seriousness of art, both its cultural significance and its power to affect social change. For 70 years, the studio has enriched every part of American culture, training many brilliant artists including actors Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Elaine Stritch, Benicio Del Toro, Warren Beatty, choreographers Alvin Ailey and Jerome Robbins, playwright Horton Foote and director Peter Bogdanovich.


Today the Stella Adler Studio extends the tradition rooted in Stella's ideals. The Studio uses the power of theater to contribute to positive social transformation, employs craft and art in service to communities and trains highly skilled actors who understand their role as the voice of the people. The studio's mission is to create an environment that nurtures theater artists and audiences who value humanity, their own and others, as their first priority while providing art and education to the greater community.