Physical theater has a varied and often disjointed story in the United States. As a field, it includes various genres such as mime, clown, performance art, puppetry, cultural movement traditions and dance theater, yet it also exists in the space between and around these genres, combining and redefining them in real time. What it has in common is a centering of the body as storyteller, a tendency toward experimentation and an openness to (re)considering the definition of theater and/or theater processes. To reference this expansiveness, PhysFestNYC defines itself as a physical theaters festival, pluralising the word to encompass its multiplicity.
Due to many factors, physical theater practitioners in NYC (and often country-wide) are somewhat siloed in their practice. PhysFestNYC seeks to create a festival that opens pathways of communication and opportunities for shared resources, supporting artists in their work and deepening their impact.