Five years ago, we were two artists (Alice De Cunha and Marc Frost) based in Chicago who decided to start an international physical theater festival. We met in London and were inspired by the variety of work presented there from around the world -– especially each year at the London International Mime Festival. Seeking to provide Chicago audiences with a similar breadth of contemporary and international theater, they applied to a curator residency program at a local arts incubator. Fortunately, the proposal was accepted and the first edition of Physical Festival Chicago came to life over nine days in the summer of 2014. Two years later, the Festival moved to a larger venue, doubling its seating capacity. As the fifth edition is set to open in one week’s time, we’d like to share our top five harwon tips we’ve learned over the past five years for building a festival and keeping it growing at a healthy rate.
# 1 – Program Work That You Love Our artist-based festival is dedicated to introducing audiences and artists alike to the type of work that we love to see ourselves. This is why we decided to focus on physical theater and to give it the name Physical Festival Chicago. It is definitely the most rewarding part of the festival –- being able to promote the work of fellow artists we admire and having audiences see it for the first time. Nothing keeps us more motivated during all the boring and stressful moments than remembering why we are doing this year after year. ...
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