Montana State University

Montana Shakespeare in the Schools' annual Elise Event benefit set for Nov. 16

October 21, 2013

Actors from Montana Shakespeare in the Schools will perform scenes from "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" at the Elise Event on Nov. 16 at MSU including, from left, Miles Duffey as Valentine, Casey Hoekstra as Proteus and Michael Gonring as Launce, with his faithful old dog Crab.. A tribute to patron Elise Donohue, the event is a fundraiser for the popular program that brings live, professional Shakespeare to middle and high schools across Montana and Wyoming. Photo by Ashley Stevick Photography courtesy of Montana Shakespeare in the Schools.   High-Res Available

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Tel: (406) 994-4571

A performance of Shakespeare's "The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” will highlight a benefit to support the Montana Shakespeare in the Schools program that begins at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Montana State University's Black Box Theater.

The annual Montana Shakespeare in the Schools fundraiser is called The Elise Event as a tribute to patron Elise Donohue. The evening begins with beverages and live music by the gypsy jazz quartet Montana Manouche, followed by a performance of the Shakespeare in the Schools’ production of Shakespeare’s boisterous comedy “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.”  Following the performance, the audience will meet Montana Shakespeare in the Schools actors and designers for a behind-the-scenes discussion and catered reception with wine and appetizers.

Susan Dickerson, Shakespeare in the Parks managing director, said the goal of Shakespeare in the Schools is to bring live, professional performances of Shakespeare’s plays to middle and high schools across Montana and Wyoming with an emphasis on rural, underserved areas.

"Because of Shakespeare in the Schools’ commitment to rural outreach, SIS was able to reach nearly 25 percent of all high school students in Montana in 2012,” Dickerson said. She said that because of Donohue’s continued support, 100 percent of the donations and ticket sales from the Elise Event go directly to support the SIS outreach program.

Montana Shakespeare in the Schools, which is a nationally recognized outreach program of MSU’s Shakespeare in the Parks program, is in its 21st season.  This year's 10-week tour runs through mid-December, serving an estimated 12,000 students in 46 schools throughout Montana and northern Wyoming.  As with the summer tour, Shakespeare in the Schools primarily focuses on rural communities.  Of the communities served, 80 percent have a population of 5,000 or fewer and many of these students will experience a live Shakespearean performance for the first time.  This season the company has added three public performances in order to make these productions accessible to everyone including students in Buffalo, Wyo. and Missoula.  For more information, visit the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks at

Tickets for The Elise Event are $40 and are available by calling the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks office at 994-3310.  Since seating is limited, advanced reservations are highly recommended.

The Black Box Theater is located adjacent to the VisualCommunicationsBuilding on the MSU campus, located at the corner of 11th and Grant in Bozeman.


Lila Michael (406) 994-3901