Montana State University

Shakespeare company for elementary schools begins regional spring tour

March 25, 2014

Montana SHAKES!, a Montana Shakespeare in the Parks' program geared to elementary school students, will perform to 9,000 students in 50 schools in Montana and Wyoming as part of its 2014 tour.   High-Res Available

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Montana Shakespeare in the Parks' elementary schools tour, MONTANA SHAKES!, has launched its sixth spring tour of regional schools.

This year's spring tour has been expanded to 11 weeks, ending May 23, allowing the company to reach even more students across Montana and northern Wyoming.

The troupe of three actors will perform "All the West’s a Stage: What Country, Friends?," a 30-minute play showcasing scenes from Shakespeare’s "Twelfth Night,"along with active participation from  students in the audience.  This is the fifth play in the company's "All the West’s a Stage" series, which was written by the team of Susan Miller-Dickerson and Will Dickerson for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. This year's company includes Colter Langan, a Montana native from Cut Bank returning as company manager, Danielle Wineman and Sean Driscoll, who was last seen as King Henry in Montana Shakespeare in the Park’s 2013 summer tour of “Henry V.”

Workshops presented in conjunction with the performance will include “What’s in a Word?  Shakespeare’s Juicy World of Words,” “There’s Gonna Be a Fight!” and “We Hope It Suits You: Costuming the Character,” all written by Montana Shakespeare in the Parks’ Lila Michael.   Michael Gonring, a veteran actor of the SHAKES! tour, is the workshop coach.  

Montana SHAKES! is one of the only educational tours of its kind that provides a positive first experience to Shakespeare for students from kindergarten to sixth grade. Since 2008, the program has grown from a 15-school tour, to reaching more than 9,000 students in 50 regional schools annually.

“This program provides a perfect introduction to Shakespeare at a time when young people are most receptive to learning,” said Kevin Asselin, executive artistic director of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. “As we look forward toward the future of Montana SHAKES!, we will continue to grow and build upon what inspires, what excites and what entertains our young people in the Rocky Mountain region.”

Montana SHAKES! is supported in part by the Beim Foundation, the Homer A. and Mildred S. Scott Foundation, the Sidney E. Frank Foundation, and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe  Railway Foundation.  Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is an outreach program of the College of Arts and Architecture at MSU.

For more information about Montana SHAKES!, or to reserve a date for next year's tour, contact Lila Michael at (406) 994-3310, email her at, or visit the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks website:

Tour dates for Montana SHAKES! 2014 are:

*Please note all school performances are for private audiences and not for the general public. 

SHAKES! Tour Schedule 2014

March 25         Morningstar Elementary, Bozeman

March 26         Hyalite Elementary, Bozeman

March 27         Townsend Elementary

March 28         Longfellow Elementary, Bozeman

March 31         Woodland Elementary, Sheridan

April 1             Forsyth Elementary

April 2             Park City Elementary

April 3             Lewis & Clark Elementary, Great Falls

April 4             Lewis & Clark Elementary, Great Falls

April 7             Stanford Elementary

April 8             Mountain View Elementary, Great Falls

April 9             Fort Benton Elementary

April 10           Valley View Elementary, Great Falls

April 11           Valley View Elementary, Great Falls

April 14           Cut Bank Educational Foundation

April 15           Augusta Elementary

April 16           Lewis & Clark School, Lewistown

April 17           Lewis & Clark School, Lewistown

April 17           Lewistown Library, Lewistown

April 21           Meadowlark Elementary, Bozeman

April 22           Miles Avenue School, Billings

April 23           Grace Montessori, Billings

April 24           Blue Creek School, Billings

April 25           St Mary’s Catholic School, Livingston

April 28           Laura Irwin School, Basin, Wyo.

April 29           Livingston School, Cody, Wyo.

April 30           Parkside/Westside/Southside Schools, Powell, Wyo.

May 1              Meeteese School

May 2              Cloud Peak Middle School, Manderson, Wyo.

May 5              Ridge View Elementary, Belgrade

May 6              Frenchtown K-6

May 7              Corvallis Primary

May 8              Ennis Elementary

May 9              Park and Gallatin Valley Home School Network, Bozeman 

May 12            Plains Elementary

May 13            Arlee Elementary

May 14            Darby Elementary

May 15            Potomoc School, Bonner

May 16            Stevensville Elementary

May 19            Amsterdam School

May 20            Big Timber Elementary

May 21            Springhill School, Belgrade

May 22            Anderson School, Bozeman

May 23            Central and Broadwater, Helena



Lila Michael at (406) 994-3310,