Our Mission and History

Who Are We?

The Boise Bard Players is a local nonprofit classical theatre company. It is our goal to make Shakespeare and other classical plays and playwrights accessible to everyone economically and emotionally. We understand that the classics are classics for a reason: they speak to the innate poet and artist in all of us.

What Do We Do?

The Boise Bard Players produces minimalistic performances of classical plays with an emphasis on Shakespeare. We perform in nontraditional theatrical venues, finding the true value in classical texts outside the traditional expectation while also understanding each play on their own terms. Instead of accepting tradition without question, we experiment with tradition to rediscover why it exists in the first place.

How We Came To Be…

In 2013 Chris Canfield was inspired by a production of Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London to bring the level of intensity and artistry he experienced 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. Dakotah Brown joined in to produce the next play, Julius Caesar, at a small brewery in autumn of 2015. With the success of two tragedies, the group took the name The Boise Bard Players and put on As You Like It in autumn of 2016 at Payette Brewing. Since then, they have produced two plays a year—Much Ado About Nothing and The Winter’s Tale in 2017, and Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night in 2018—before becoming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Who Do We Hope To Reach?

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 as well as of 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.