Five Artists Under 25: Making a Case for the City of Trees 

More young artists are choosing to stay in Boise rather than heading to the big city

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click to enlarge Evan Sesek - LAURIE PEARMAN

Evan Sesek

Age: 23

Discipline: Theater

Day Job: Floor staff at Edwards 9, freelance marketing

Hometown: Chicago

Years in Boise: 19

Evan Sesek is an actor and playwright. He graduated from Boise High School and went on to complete the theater program at Boise State University.

Right out of high school, he started interning at McCall's Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, a gathering put on by a New York-based theater company and attended by playwrights from all over the United States each summer. Sesek worked his way up at the conference, moving from intern to actor and eventually--after co-writing Voices from the Boise Hole--he participated in the conference as a playwright. Another of Sesek's plays, Champagne Breakfast--aptly centered on several post-collegiate individuals and their struggle to decide whether to stay in Boise or move away--received a stage reading in New York and was turned into a main stage production by Boise StateTheater Majors Association.

"It's so easy to live here," Sesek said of Boise. "You can get a job, pay rent and do nothing."

"It's a very comfortable place to live, which is a good thing I think, but maybe comfort is not always the best thing," he added. "Maybe comfort is the thing I should be seeking out in my 30s and 40s. Maybe being in your 20s is about being uncomfortable."

Sesek has appeared in numerous plays in the Boise area, including Boise Contemporary Theater's 2010 production of Norway, a play written by Idaho playwright Samuel D. Hunter. Sesek also appeared in BCT's 2012 season opener, Tigers Be Still, a dark comedy about the misadventures of a young art therapist.

Sesek does marketing work for Alley Repertory Theater on the side and in late summer 2012, the company put on another of Sesek's plays. Written along with Jason Haskins, Levi Middlebrooks: Back 2 Boyzee follows a fallen former boy band member and his attempted reentry into the music business as a Christian rock singer.

"I'm doing something here," said Sesek. "It does feel like there is this burgeoning something. ... You wanna be part of that. It's almost like you don't want to leave when things are getting good. You'll go somewhere and you'll work a couple of shitty jobs and you won't do any theater and they'll all be doing theater back here.

"In terms of whether it can stack up to Portland [Ore.], those places ... I think it's going to be different," said Sesek. "I think people focus on that a lot--are we going to be this city or that city--and I think we just need to be Boise. It's just different. It's different than all those other places."

Editors Note: The above text was changed from the print version to reflect the correct name of the play which was taken to New York for a reading. It was not written as part of the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference. Boise Weekly regrets the error.

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