Acting Manitou was founded in 2003 by Tim Brownell and Steve Borowka. At the time, Tim and Steve were both teaching artists working for The McCarter Theatre Center
in Princeton, NJ. During the summer, Steve worked as Theater Director for Camp Manitou, a boy’s sports camp, while Tim split time directing for The Imagination Stage
in Washington DC and running Middle Ground Theater, the day camp that he founded in Middlebury, Vermont.
In the summer of 2003, Tim and Steve joined forces to found Acting Manitou and took up residence at the end of the summer at Camp Manitou
. 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, Acting Manitou took up residence next door to Camp Manitou, at a brand-new performing arts campsite called Camp Eastwood.
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. 2011 marks Acting Manitou’s ninth summer of operation, having produced ten shows in 2010, with 160 campers and 40 staff. These days, the actors perform for standing room only crowds of family, friends, and local residents of the Waterville community.