The annual Montana Shakespeare in the Schools fundraiser is called The Elise Event as a tribute to patron Elise Donohue. It begins with beverages followed by a performance of the Shakespeare in the Schools' production of Shakespeare's classic comedy "As You Like It." Following the performance, the audience will meet Joel Jahnke, artistic director of both Shakespeare in the Schools and Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, as well as the Shakespeare in the Schools actors and designers at a behind-the-scenes discussion and catered reception with wine and appetizers.
Jahnke explains that the schools where Shakespeare in the Schools perform are able to pay only 25 percent of the actual costs of the tour. Grants and corporate sponsors make up a portion of the difference, but a significant amount must come from individual donors in order to keep the show on the road. Because Donohue underwrites the fundraiser, 100 percent of the tickets sales and donations received for this event go directly to support the Shakespeare in the Schools outreach program, Jahnke said.
Montana Shakespeare in the Schools, a nationally recognized outreach program of MSU's Shakespeare in the Parks program, is in its 19th season. This year's 50-school tour runs through mid-December, serving an estimated 14,000 students throughout Montana and northern Wyoming. As with the summer tour, Shakespeare in the Schools primarily focuses on rural communities. Of the communities served, 75 percent have a population of 4,000 or less and many of these students will be experiencing a live Shakespearean performance for the very first time.
Tickets for The Elise Event are $30, which includes the performance, discussion and reception, and are available at First Interstate Bank in the Strand Union, Cactus Records and by calling the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks office at 994-3901. Since seating is limited and a sellout is likely, advanced reservations are highly recommended.
The Black Box Theater is located in the Visual Communications Building, located at the corner of 11th and Grant in Bozeman.
Lila Michael (406) 994-3310, firstname.lastname@example.org