Physical Theatre: 30 Fun Resources for the Classroom

Physical theatre is a broad term encompassing works with elements of movement, dance, mime, acrobatics, dance-theatre, clowning, stylised actions and gestures, circus, mask, and more. While recognised as a form on its own, physical theatre can also involve aspects of other recognised styles such as Commedia dell’Arte, performance poetry, cabaret, musical theatre and more. Critical to the genre is the human body being at the centre of the action and the ability to communicate meaning and a story to an audience. Emphasis is on movement than rather spoken text. – Justin Cash

Physical Theatre Companies London

YouTube channel for DV8 Physical Theatre with a range of fantastic videos. Use this education pack if working with students on DV8’s Can We Talk About This series.

Internationally acclaimed Frantic Assembly of the UK, who present thrilling physical theatre.

Website of British-based Gecko physical theatre company.

Website of London-based international touring company Complicité with useful resources.

DV8 are a renowned British-based physical theatre company.

Physical Theatre Companies Australia

Website of Australian-based Fling Physical Theatre, a youth organisation.

Website for Sydney-based Legs on the Wall company which practices in this form.

Zen Zen Zo is a critically acclaimed Australian-based physical theatre company from Brisbane.

Physical Theatre Companies America

Website of New York-based PUSH theatre.

Double Edge Theatre is an American-based physical theatre company.

Article outlining thirteen of the world’s best-known companies of this form.

Physical Theatre Teaching Resources

Excellent student resources on this form from BBC Bitesize.

Excellent unit of work developed for students in the UK curriculum with warmups, games, exercise and extended activities.

Great unit of work “Approaches to Teaching in the Style of Frantic Assembly” with warms ups, exercises and various student tasks.

Series of PowerPoints detailing a Year 8 physical theatre unit for the classroom.

A Drama classroom unit of work suitable for Year 8 students – involves viewing a performance, responding appropriately, and developing and performing their own devised piece (DOCX).

Physical theatre is a term used for theatre that emphasises building dramatic action and expression through the physical text (movement) rather than through the spoken text (words). Physical theatre performances are not just displays of physical skills — actors use their movement skills alongside the drama elements (such as narrative, character and conflict) to tell a story or communicate a theme to the audience. Physical theatre covers a range of circus theatre forms — clown and mask theatre, mime, commedia dell’arte and dance theatre.
Responding to Physical theatre
Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority

Wikipedia entry including common elements and the genre’s modern form.

An introductory article on the form suitable for students.

Lesson plan for physical acting from BYU Theatre Education.

Physical Theatre

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