Dec 22, 2022
Craig Smith is the Executive Director of the Phoenix Festival: Live Arts in the Hudson Valley. The festival is an annual festival in Nyack, NY, that spans 5 to 6 weeks over September and October. The Phoenix Festival aims to bring people to Nyack to enjoy first-rate quality theatre, dance, and music. The festival has experienced much success in its first year, and Craig hopes to build on that success in years to come.
The Phoenix Festival is a program by the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, which has been producing award-winning theater in New York City since 2004 and expanded to the Hudson Valley in 2018. Various sources funded the festival in 2023; the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockland Office of Tourism, Humanities NY, and an Empire State Development/I Love NY Market NY grant.
The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble is an ensemble of artists (actors, directors, designers) producing performances that are considered "World Class Performances" (W.Cataldi, Hi Drama) and are "One of the Best!" (The Wall Street Journal). New York City's Theatre Scene picked The Phoenix Festival's performance of "The Importance of Being Earnest" as one of the top ten productions of 2022.
The Phoenix Festival is a new Member of NYSTIA and a member of various organizations. These organizations include Theatre Communications Group, ART/NY, Network of Ensemble Theatres, Arts Council of Rockland, ArtsWestchester, Orange County Arts Council, Rockland Business Association, Visit Nyack, and Nyack Chamber of Commerce.
Craig spends most of his time-making theatre living in New City with his wife, mother-in-law, and son Tesfahun. He also has two other children, his daughter Hakima a writer and filmmaker in New York City, and his son Kerem a visual artist living in Boulder, Colorado.
Visit The Phoenix Festival if you get a chance; it is worth the trip. The festival offers round-trip bus service from Manhattan to Nyack, making it easy to experience the festival.