About

Who Are We?

The Boise Bard Players is a mobile, minimalist nonprofit theatre company based in Boise, ID that focuses primarily on Shakespeare’s plays.

Our mission is to bridge the 400-year gap from Shakespeare’s day to ours by focusing on each and every word in the plays we produce.

What we lack in lights, elaborate sets, and fantastical costumes we make up for in focus on the language—the true star of these plays.

The common conception is that Shakespeare is only for the educated. We challenge this notion with every play, taking our productions into unconventional venues like breweries, bars, and backyards, and assert that the Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon is “not of an age but for all time.”

The Tempest (2019)
Antony & Cleopatra (2020)
Taming of the Shrew (2018)

What Do We Do?

The Boise Bard Players produces minimalistic performances of classical plays with an emphasis on Shakespeare. We break the traditional expectations of classical texts by performing them in nontraditional locations and understanding each play on its own terms.

Instead of accepting traditions without question, we experiment with them to rediscover how they became traditions in the first place.

Our History

In 2013, our artistic director, Chris Canfield, saw Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London. The experience inspired him to bring that level of intensity and artistry back to Boise.

The following spring, Chris called on some fellow actors and former classmates, including Samantha McAllister and Catherine Richardson, to produce their own Macbeth in a downtown Boise coffeehouse.

In 2015, Dakotah Brown joined to produce the next play, Julius Caesar, at a small brewery.

With the success of two tragedies, the troupe took the name The Boise Bard Players and put on As You Like It at Payette Brewing in 2016.

We produced four more plays—Much Ado About Nothing and The Winter’s Tale in 2017, and Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night in 2018—before becoming a nonprofit.

From there we produced Richard III and The Tempest in 2019, Antony & Cleopatra in 2020, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2021.

Our 2022 season consisted of Romeo & Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and All’s Well That Ends Well.

In 2023, we produced Hamlet at the Old Idaho Penitentiary in April, with The Importance of Being Earnest scheduled to tour the Treasure Valley in August, and Measure for Measure closing out our season in December.

Chris Canfield 2013 (left) & 2021 (right)
Much Ado About Nothing (2017)

The Leading Players

 

STAFF

Chris Canfield, Artistic Director

Chris Canfield

Artistic Director

Chris Canfield is the founding artistic director of The Boise Bard Players, as well as a member of the board of directors. He is a Boise native with a BA in theatre arts and Masters in Teaching from Boise State University. When he’s not running The Boise Bard Players, Chris can be found playing D&D, or in the foothills taking in the sights. 

Tiffany Eller, Managing Director

Tiffany Eller

Managing Director

Tiffany Eller is the Managing Director of The Boise Bard Players, and all-around creative. On any given day, Tiffany may be found planning comedy competitions, theatrical events, or her next home improvement project. Her work outside of BBP includes producing the Idaho Pun Slam and Upstaged Comedy Competition, and building LEGOs with her daughter, Henley. She’s happy to be part of The Boise Bard Players and loves to watch the company flourish and thrive. 

BOARD MEMBERS

Hayden Pedersen, Board President

Hayden Pedersen

President

Hayden Pedersen (she/they) is a theatrical generalist and first-time Earth resident. Hayden holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Boise State University, and has served as an Arts Administration Intern at Boise Contemporary Theater, an Apprentice with Bread & Puppet Theater, a Producer for the New American Theatre Festival through the National New Play Network, and as a Scenic Artist with Idaho Shakespeare Festival. They are presently an ensemble member with In The Margin, and a fierce advocate for best practices in this beautiful, wild thing we do.

Dakotah Brown

Founding Member, Secretary

Dakotah Brown is eternally grateful to be one of the founding members of the Boise Bard Players. Dakotah is a local theatre professional, having worked with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival (where he now resides as the Education Associate), Boise Contemporary Theater, Company of Fools, Alley Rep, HomeGrown Theatre, and the Red Light Variety Show. Previous BBP credits include Macbeth, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale, Twelfth Night, Richard III, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In addition to performing–Dakotah has served as a theater teacher, director, playwright, fight choreographer, clowning instructor, and occasionally a sound designer. Dakotah holds a BFA in Acting from UC Santa Barbara.
Justin Tharpe - Treasurer

Justin Tharpe

Treasurer

Justin Tharpe has been involved in, and passionate about, theatre his entire adult life. He currently directs a local high school theatre program and has taught English and Theatre for 12 years. He has appeared in several area productions, including Taming of the Shrew and Richard III with BBP. Justin is also a co-founder of the Gem Center for the Arts.  He holds a BA in English and Theatre from Boise State and an M.Ed. from the University of Toledo. 

Rachel Baxa

Rachel Baxa

Board Member

Rachel Baxa is an unabashed fangirl of the human experience. A Kansas native and longtime Boise transplant, Rachel has dedicated her life to the connective power of storytelling through the arts. She’s had the great privilege of serving multiple nonprofit boards and advocating for space, funding, and resources for some of her favorite small Boise arts organizations including HomeGrown Theatre, The Boise Bard Players, and The Gem Center for the Arts — where she’s had the privilege of exploring the technical, performative, and administrative aspects of theatre. She so grateful to spend her spare time writing, drawing, and playing in the woods with her two children. 

Josh Rippy

Board Member

Who We Serve

Boise is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the nation and is discovering its own identity as it morphs with every new citizen.

It will find itself in the art produced here in the coming years. We hope to be at the forefront of Boise’s cultural renaissance, providing a classical voice among the many contemporary ones. As part of that effort, we look to employ Boise actors, rather than hire from “artistic hub” cities, to share in the development of our company and the artistic face of Boise.

Shakespeare, as is often quoted, is, “not of an age but for all time.” This applies to Boise as well. Produced by Boiseans for Boiseans, The Boise Bard Players is here to “hold the mirror up to nature” from a place of equity with the audience.

Who We Serve

Boise is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the nation and is discovering its own identity as it morphs with every new citizen.

It will find itself in the art produced here in the coming years. We hope to be at the forefront of Boise’s cultural renaissance, providing a classical voice among the many contemporary ones. As part of that effort, we look to employ Boise actors, rather than hire from “artistic hub” cities, to share in the development of our company and the artistic face of Boise.

Shakespeare, as is often quoted, is, “not of an age but for all time.” This applies to Boise as well. Produced by Boiseans for Boiseans, The Boise Bard Players is here to “hold the mirror up to nature” from a place of equity with the audience.

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