SkirtsAfire Festival is a multidisciplinary theatre and arts festival featuring the work of women. SkirtsAfire takes place in conjunction with International Women’s Day each year. We produce and present passionate, provocative, moving, and entertaining performances, exhibits, and workshops. 

The first skirt was designed and built for the Festival in 2013. It became the Official Festival Skirt that year, and was proudly featured in the Nina Art Gallery for the duration of the programming. In 2014, we opened up the Official Festival Skirt design as a competition in order to expand and allow for the ability to showcase more than one designer each year. The winning skirt has become part of our opening ceremony annually, featured with our Honorary Skirt (Marni Panas in 2019). 

We value diversity in the women we represent and therefore welcome women artists of all diverse backgrounds including trans women, self-identifying women, the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, all ethnicities, and all abilities.

Our 2020 Skirt Design Competition has now been completed. As we head into our eighth year, five designers were chosen to compete in the competition by designing a Skirt made of found and up-cycled materials. Designs incorporated the theme of “Her 1940s Skirt” based on SkirtsAfire’s MainStage play, “The Blue Hour” by Michele Vance Hehir. The winning Skirt was designed by Joanne Ngo, and crowned the Official Festival Skirt. The top three designs were also awarded cash prizes. All five designs were displayed in the Westbury Theatre for the duration of the festival, February 27-March 8, 2020. See a gallery of images here.

Call for submissions for 2021’s competition will open in fall 2020. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know!

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2019’s Skirt Designs by (from left to right) Fakhra Abrar, David Cameron, Treasa Webb, Kelly Johner, Jane Kline and Kim Neeser. Photo by Gallican Buki.

“Sustenance” by Amanda Brown, Skirt Design Competition 2018 Winner. Photo by April MacDonald Killins.

“Sustenance” by Amanda Brown, Skirt Design Competition 2018 Winner. Photo by April MacDonald Killins.

2018’s Skirt Designs by (from left to right) Melissa Squire, Lorraine Dezman, Caroline Amaral, Kim Neeser and Karin Lauderdale. Photos by April MacDonald Killins.

2017 Skirt Design Competition Winner, "The Shape of Me," designed by Jane Kline. Photography by Keanna Hiebert.

“The Shape of Me” by Jane Kline, Skirt Design Competition 2017 Winner. Photo by Keanna Hiebert.