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Adventurous theatre, unleashed


The performers of “Let's Get Physical (Theatre)” don neon leotards and fanny packs in their promotional photos — not just as a nod to the show’s playful title, but also as a warning to audiences. But beware, these artists don’t take themselves too seriously. Laughter and bizarre encounters may ensue.

The evening’s performance contains three parts, each created by a separate team of artists. While the pieces differ in their creation and casts, they all have a common sense of whimsy. Two works feature clowning, and a humorous thread weaves all the characters together.

Local artist and teacher Katherine Marino will present a new work, “Truth and Beauty,” which explores the clown’s relationship with the audience, one of theatrical clowning’s most unique aspects as an art form.

“You’re responding and adjusting, reacting to the audience in real-time" she says. "With this piece, I wanted to write something with enough breathing room for those improvisations.”

The second work in the bill, “InDoors” also features clowning. Created and performed by circus artist Avi Pryntz-Nadworny and creative director/performer with PUSH Physical Theatre Ashley Jones, the piece is funded by a unique grant from the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts. Both artists have extensive circus backgrounds, so audiences can expect to be awed by athleticism and humorous characters.

While Rachel Kodweis and Jon Froehlich of Infinite Spark Theater Company are not clowns, they are masters of improvisational theater. Recent transplants from NYC, the couple met working on a clown and puppet show over a decade ago. Since then, they have created and performed numerous works together, which are all heavily movement-based.

Along with performer (and parkour master) Jonathan Lowery, Kodweis and Froehlich will be presenting their spin on Anton Chekhov’s one-act play “The Bear.” Since the piece’s first iteration in Rochester Fringe in 2022, they have taken time to refine the script and shift the impulses behind the choreography.

From left, Katherine Marino and Rachel Kodweis. - AVI PRYNTZ-NADWORNY.
  • From left, Katherine Marino and Rachel Kodweis.
“A lot of the focus in rehearsal has been research into iconography and technically creating shapes and silhouettes,” Kodweis says. “We’ve also added more physical comedy. We’re not afraid to push the boundaries with movement.”

All three pieces promise to break down a specific boundary: the fourth wall.

“The fourth wall is a reference point that originated out of late 1800s naturalism,” Froehlich says. “The goal was to make theater where the audience was invisible as if what was onstage was an imitation of real life.”

Unlike a traditional theater experience, in “Let’s Get Physical (Theatre)” the creative direction breaks down the fourth wall, involving the audience in the experience rather than presenting them with the work.

In addition to introducing new audiences to clowning and physical theater, the artists see this performance as a chance to explore collaborative opportunities within the Rochester theater community. Throughout the creation process, the artists have cross-pollinated and inspired each other’s art. They feel that this collaboration adds significant value to the final products.

“Philosophically, we’re all bound together, wanting to play and make new work,” Froelich says. “And we’re not creating new work just for its own sake, but there’s this special sauce of creating this work in community, creating together.”

“Let’s Get Physical (Theatre)” will take place June 11-13 at MuCCC, with an ASL-interpreted performance on June 12. Tickets are available at The artists will also offer a three-day devising workshop hosted at MuCCC.

Sydney Burrows is a freelance contributor to CITY.