History of Acting Manitou

Over the years, Acting Manitou has maintained its commitment to creating an exceptionally tight familial environment for campers to take great artistic leaps and undergo personal transformations.


In the summer of 2003, Steve Borowka and Tim Brownell founded Acting Manitou and took up residence at the end of the summer at Camp Manitou for Boys. During the first summer of operation, the program had 11 campers most of whom came from Vermont. The following summer the program doubled in size to 22, then 30 campers the summer after that. Its fourth summer of operation doubled again to 60 campers and its fifth summer, the last at Camp Manitou, enrolled 80 campers and produced five shows. In the summer of 2008, Camp Eastwood for the Performing Arts was built to house the expanding Acting Manitou program.

In planning the design of the new campsite’s theater, Tim and Steve created a versatile and intimate thrust stage, capable of putting audience members in close contact with the performers, as well as offering directors a variety of opportunities for flexible staging. In the years following the performance spaces have expanded to include two amphitheaters and a performance gazebo. Non-traditional performance spaces are found around camp every summer as directors and campers allow their imaginations to be the only limits of producing theater at Acting Manitou.

In the summer of 2017, Acting Manitou's 15th summer, Lesley Levy joined the staff at Acting Manitou as the Associate Director under Steve Borowka. Together, Steve and Lesley bring more than 40 collective years of camping and theater experience and look forward to the growth that lies ahead in camp's next 15 years!

• To produce high caliber theatrical performances in a nurturing, ensemble-based environment that supports each camper’s individual artistry.
• Every tech, music and performance camper is an important piece of the production.
• We believe in compassion for others and passion for theater.
• We believe in going ‘unplugged’ during camp and becoming present to the world around us.
• We seek to create an artistic haven for our campers and staff, free of external pressures.
• Campers at Acting Manitou grow as both people and performers, developing confidence in themselves and important skills of collaboration and communication.
Support and inspire others
Challenge yourself creatively
Be a good friend to all
Work tirelessly on your performance
Take care of yourself and others
Commune with nature
Fall in love with your play
Make lifelong friends
And take joy in all you do.