BOZEMAN – Montana Shakespeare in the Schools will perform Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” to approximately 12,000 students in communities throughout Montana, Wyoming and Washington as part of its annual fall tour, which begins Oct. 6.
The 10-week tour is the first of two educational outreach programs being offered by Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, which is based at Montana State University, during this academic year. The tour will conclude Dec. 16. Montana Shakes!, a tour designed specifically for elementary school children, will tour to 60 schools in the spring.
“As with the summer tour, this program places special emphasis on underserved, rural areas,” said Kevin Asselin, executive artistic director for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. “For many students, this is their only opportunity for live, professional theater.”
William Brown is a Chicago-based director who will head this production. Brown first came to MSIP in 1980 as an actor. He did several summer tours before returning in 1993 as a director.
“For many communities, this is the cultural event of the year,” Brown said. “And for us, that responsibility makes every performance an essential one. Bringing Hamlet to Montana’s schools is a rare opportunity. I could not be more excited.”
Workshops will be offered to each school on relevant themes in the play, Shakespearean verse, theatrical production and stage combat. The eight actor-educators who make up the touring company have been chosen from national auditions in Chicago, Minneapolis and Montana. Five out of eight are returning to the Shakespeare in the Schools tour for the second time. They are Stephanie Chavara, Miles Duffey, Ty Fanning, Brett Garrett and Luke Massengill. Joe Bianco, Tyler Meredith and Faith Servant join the company for the first time.
Special performances, open to the public, will be held in Buffalo, Wyoming, Dillon, Montana, and at the newly opened Tippet Rise Art Center in Fishtail, Montana.
MSIS is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Shakespeare in American Communities. Additional funding support comes from the MSU College of Arts and Architecture, the Montana Arts Council: Artists in the Schools and Communities and Cultural Trust, the Homer A. and Mildred S. Scott Foundation and the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.
Shakespeare in the School's annual Elise Event, a fundraiser named in honor of the late Elise Donohue, will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at MSU's Black Box Theater, located on the corner of 11th and Grant Street on the MSU campus in Bozeman. The event will feature a full performance of “Hamlet,” post-show catered wine, hors d’oeuvres and dessert. There will also be a reception and a question and answer session with the actors, artistic director and designers following the performance.
Tickets for the fundraiser are $40 per person and advance reservations are highly recommended. For more information, call (406) 994-3303.
For more information about Shakespeare in the Schools and a performance schedule, visit the website: http://www.shakespeareintheparks.org/montana-shakespeare-in-the-schools.php or call (406) 994-3303.
Shakespeare in the Schools 2016 tour – “Hamlet”
Oct. 6, Medicine Lake High School, Medicine Lake
Oct. 7, Sidney High School, Sidney
Oct. 8, Scobey High School, Scobey
Oct. 9, Plentywood High School, Plentywood
Oct. 10, Bainville High School, Bainville
Oct. 11, Pine Hill High School, Miles City
Oct. 17, Meeteetse High School, Meeteetse, Wyoming
Oct. 18, Powell High School, Powell, Wyoming
Oct. 19, Cody High School, Cody, Wyoming
Oct. 20, Worland High School, Worland, Wyoming
Oct. 21-23, Arts Roundup, Big Timber
Oct. 24, Sweet Grass County High School, Big Timber
Oct. 25, Buffalo High School, Buffalo, Wyoming
Oct. 25, Public performance at Buffalo High School, Buffalo, Wyoming
Oct, 26, Sheridan High School, Sheridan, Wyoming
Oct. 27, Hardin High School, Hardin
Oct. 28, Lame Deer Jr/Sr High School, Lame Deer
Oct. 31, Hobson Middle/High School, Hobson
Nov. 1, Belt High School, Belt
Nov. 2, Helena High School, Helena
Nov. 3, Townsend Middle School, Townsend
Nov. 4, Ennis High School, Ennis
Nov. 7, Roundup Jr/Sr High School, Roundup
Nov. 8, Columbus High School, Columbus
Nov. 9, UM Western, Dillon
Nov. 10, Sheridan High School, Sheridan, Montana
Nov. 11, Park and Gallatin County Homeschool, Bozeman
Nov. 12, Elise Event, Bozeman
Nov. 14, Plains High School, Plains
Nov. 15, Florence Carlton High School, Florence
Nov. 16, Alberton School, Alberton
Nov. 17, Polson High School, Polson
Nov. 18, St. Ignatius Middle School, St. Ignatius
Nov. 21, Petra Academy, Bozeman
Nov. 22, Bozeman High School, Bozeman
Nov. 23, Shields Valley High School, Clyde Park
Nov. 28, Mica Peak High School, Spokane Valley, Washington
Nov. 29, Columbia Falls High School, Columbia Falls
Nov. 30, Columbia Falls High School, Columbia Falls
Dec. 1, West Valley Middle School, Kalispell
Dec. 2, Kalispell Middle School, Kalispell
Dec. 5, Loyola Sacred Heart HS/St. Joseph MS, Missoula
Dec. 6, Stevensville High School, Stevensville
Dec. 7, Belgrade High School, Belgrade
Dec. 8, Chief Joseph Middle School, Bozeman
Dec. 9, Lone Peak High School, Big Sky
Dec. 10, Public Performance at Tippet Rise Arts Center, Fishtail
Dec. 12, Sentinel High School, Missoula
Dec. 13, Conrad High School, Conrad
Dec. 14, Augusta High School, Augusta
Dec. 15, Capital High School, Helena
Dec. 16, Manhattan High School, Manhattan
Contact: Susan Miller, Shakespeare in the Parks, (406) 994-3033 or firstname.lastname@example.org