Campfire Theatre Festival Takes the Stage for Year Two

By September 4, 2018Blog, Theater

It’s yet again time to gather ’round the campfire… Campfire Theatre Festival, that is.

Campfire Theatre Festival (CTF) is gearing up for its second year, chock full of readings, workshops, and performances. The festival takes place at Boise Contemporary Theater and aims to put Boise’s theater scene on the map.

“We wanted to involve all of the really talented people that we have here, but also make connections between our theater community [and] the greater-scale American theater scene,” said Artistic Director and Co-Founder Dayna Smith. “We wanted people to start paying attention to us and to our artists so that we can help them constantly climb upwards.”

Photos courtesy of Campfire Theatre Festival

Much Ado About Everything

The festival spans three days and is jam-packed with shows and activities. Guest performances include a piece by dance collective Project Flux and live storytelling program from Story Story Night

There will also be staged readings from four selected artists who were narrowed down from a pool of about 200 submissions, plus a developmental work-in-progress reading from the CTF Spark series. Daily workshops range from clown work and a class on comedy to diversity and inclusion in theater, something very important to CTF’s founders.

“Our focus is really on stories that we don’t feel like we’ve seen,” Smith said, “or a perspective that we don’t think we’ve seen playwrights come from. We pay close attention to the writers of these stories, who are often underrepresented, such as people of color, queer people, women, and disabled people. We want to bring opportunity where it may not always be offered,” said Smith.

Smith and the other CTF founders place high priority on artists and want to provide early career artists opportunities for growth. CTF is designed to foster new work and help artists develop their vision through working with other like-minded individuals within the community.

“The community is very receptive,” said Smith. “It has been nothing but gracious, with a willingness to help.”

Photos courtesy of Campfire Theatre Festival

The Fire Starters

Smith and Co-Founders Caitlin Susen Hartshorn and Amanda Baschnagel started the festival out of a need to fill a gap they saw. All graduates of the Department of Theatre, Film, and Creative Writing at Boise State University, they didn’t see a lot of opportunities for them to utilize their skills, so they created the festival to fill that. They wanted to create variation and opportunities for themselves and other theater artists in town. According to Smith, the idea to identify the festival with the term “campfire” was to create a feeling of intimacy and connectedness that people may feel when they sit with others around a fire.

“We went with the term ‘campfire’ because it felt really indicative of the way that we used to tell stories,” said Smith. “We still have urge inside of us to sit in a room of people and connect in that way through story.”