Montana State University

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks announces summer tour

May 6, 2010

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Montana Shakespeare in the Parks will perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Julius Caesar" during its upcoming 2010 tour of 75 performances in 60 communities throughout Montana, northern Wyoming, eastern Idaho and western North Dakota this summer.

This is the 38th season for the touring company, whose performances have become a summer tradition and seasonal highlight for many rural communities.

"This summer, the anticipated audience of over 30,000 will be treated to two wonderful performances that cover the broad perspective of Shakespeare's genius as a playwright," said Joel Jahnke, MSIP's artistic coordinator and a professor of theater at Montana State University.

The company launches its 10-week tour with eight performances in Bozeman before hitting the road July 5. A complete schedule can be found at the end of this story.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is one of Shakespeare's most popular comedies. It features fairies, a magical forest, a love story and mistaken identity.

Jahnke said the play set has been designed so that the "real" world of Athens, where the play is set, will have a monochromatic flavor while the world of the forest will be a "richly textured, magical world that although controlled by the fairies is also a place of danger, of dark shadows, of mysterious things that happen to the lovers when they least expect them."

"I have been strongly influenced by both Disney's 'Alice in Wonderland' and Tim Burton's new version of 'Alice,'" Jahnke said. "I'm looking to create a world that is exotic and colorful with just the right amount of mystery and danger to keep it interesting."

Jahnke said that, as always, the productions that feature 10 professional actors are at no cost to the public. The group depends on contributions for audience members as well as a variety of grants and donations from supporting companies. An outreach program of MSU's College of Arts and Architecture, this year's performances are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, NorthWestern Energy, Stillwater Mining Company, Pacific Steel & Recycling, Gapwest Broadcasting, Montana Cultural Trust and the Montana Arts Council.

In contrast, "Julius Caesar" is Shakespeare's classic tale of betrayal and tragedy. Jahnke calls it "an exciting ride which includes espionage, secret alliances, murderous plots, political intrigue and lots of action. It serves as a cautionary tale for those who crave power and whose ambitions place personal gain above the public good." The play will be directed by Will Dickerson.

As a special addition to the July 3 Bozeman performance of "Julius Caesar," Jahnke Declaration of Independence prior to the performance with members of the cast as part of the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America July 4 celebration. Jahnke said he hopes the reading will become an annual tradition for the cast. Last year the company read the declaration at the Fourth of July 4 performance at Poker Jim Butte in Birney.

All performances of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, with the exception of those at Bozeman's Sweet Pea Festival, are free and tickets are not needed for admission. Audiences are encouraged to show up prior to the appointed curtain time with chairs, blankets, a picnic supper, and friends and family to enjoy the evening.

For more information on the plays and a complete tour schedule visit the company's website

A complete schedule of the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks 2010 summer tour follows:

June 23, Bozeman, A Midsummer Night's Dream, MSU-Grove, 8 p.m.
June 24, Bozeman, A Midsummer Night's Dream, MSU-Grove, 8 p.m.
June 25, Bozeman, A Midsummer Night's Dream, MSU-Grove, 8 p.m.
June 26, Bozeman, A Midsummer Night's Dream, MSU-Grove, 8 p.m.
June 30, Bozeman, Julius Caesar, MSU-Grove, 8 p.m.
July 1, Bozeman, Julius Caesar, MSU-Grove, 8 p.m.
July 2, Bozeman, Julius Caesar, MSU-Grove, 8 p.m.
July 3, Bozeman, Julius Caesar, MSU-Grove, 8 p.m.
July 5, Hardin, Julius Caesar, South Park, 6:30 p.m.
July 6, Birney, A Midsummer Night's Dream", Poker Jim Butte, 6 p.m.
July, 7, Colstrip, Julius Caesar, Rye Park Pavilion, 7 p.m.
July 8, Glendive, Julius Caesar, Makoshika State Park, 8:30 p.m.
July 9, Wibaux, Julius Caesar, Wibaux City Park, 6:30 p.m.
July 10, Beach, N.D, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Beach Swimming Pool Park, 6 p.m.
July 11, Sidney, Julius Caesar, Veteran's Park, 6:30 p.m.
July 12, Wolf Point, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Bridge Park, 6:30 p.m.
July 13, Miles City, Julius Caesar, Pumping Plant Park, 6:30 p.m.
July 14, Ekalaka, Julius Caesar, Dahl Memorial Lawn, 6:30 p.m.
July 15, Forsyth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Rosebud County Courthouse-East Lawn, 6 p.m.
July 16, Roundup, A Midsummer Night's Dream, City Park, 6 p.m.
July 17, Lewistown, Julius Caesar, Fergus County Fairgrounds- Gazebo, 6:30 p.m.
July 18, Hobson- Utica, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Utica Clubhouse Lawn, 6:30 p.m.
July 19, Billings, Julius Caesar, Castle Rock Park, 6:30 p.m.
July 20, Billings, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Pioneer Park, 6:30 p.m.
July 21, Absarokee, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Fishtail Family Park, 6:30 p.m.
July 22, Worland, Wyo., A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sanders Park, 6 p.m.
July 23, Sheridan, Wyo., Julius Caesar, Kendrick Park, 6:30 p.m.
July 25, Greybull, Wyo., Julius Caesar, Greybull City Park, 6 p.m.
July 26, Powell, Wyo., Julius Caesar, Washington Park, 6:30 p.m.
July 27, Cody ,Wyo., A Midsummer Night's Dream, Canal Park, 6:30 p.m.
July 28, West Yellowstone, Julius Caesar, 220 Yellowstone Ave. - Library Lawn, 6 p.m.
July 29, Dillon, A Midsummer Night's Dream", JayCee Park, 6 p.m.
July 30, Pocatello, Idaho, Julius Caesar, Idaho State University Quad, 6:30 p.m.
July 31, Alpine, Wyo., A Midsummer Night's Dream, Nordic Inn, 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 1, Driggs, Idaho, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Creekside Meadows, 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 2, Big Sky, Julius Caesar, Big Sky Town Center, 6 p.m.
Aug. 3, Red Lodge, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lions Park, 6 p.m.
Aug. 4, Three Forks, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Stevenson's Park, 6 p.m.
Aug. 5, Fort Benton, A Midsummer Night's Dream, City Park, 6 p.m.
Aug. 6, Bozeman-Sweet Pea, Julius Caesar, Lindley Park, 4:30 p.m. Must have Sweet Pea button
Aug. 8, Bozeman-Sweet Pea, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lindley Park, 5p.m., Must have Sweet Pea button
Aug. 9, Great Falls, A Midsummer Night's Dream, University of Great Falls, 6 p.m.
Aug. 10, Great Falls, Julius Caesar, University of Great Falls, 6 p.m.
Aug. 11, Cut Bank, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cut Bank City Park, 6 p.m.
Aug. 12, Choteau, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lawn at Skyline Lodge, 6 p.m.
Aug. 13, Boulder, Julius Caesar, Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 6 p.m.
Aug. 14, Big Timber, A Midsummer Night's Dream, City Park, 6 p.m.
Aug. 15, Cooke City/Silver Gate, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Silver Gate Park, 6 p.m.
Aug. 16, Helena, Julius Caesar, Anchor Park, 6 p.m.
Aug. 17, Helena, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Anchor Park, 6 p.m.
Aug. 18, Philipsburg, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Philipsburg City Park, 6 p.m.
Aug. 19, Superior, Julius Caesar, behind High School, 6 p.m.
Aug. 20, Plains, Julius Caesar, behind Plains School, 7p.m.
Aug. 21, Heron, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Heron Ball Field, 6 p.m. MT Time
Aug. 22, Libby, Julius Caesar, Middle School Amphitheater, 6 p.m.
Aug. 23, Eureka, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Historical Village, 6 p.m.
Aug. 24, Kalispell, Julius Caesar, Flathead Valley Community College, 6 p.m.
Aug. 26, Hamilton, Julius Caesar, River Park, 6 p.m.
Aug. 27, Seeley Lake, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Double Arrow Resort, 6 p.m.
Aug. 28, Charlo, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Palmer Park, 6 p.m.
Aug. 29, St. Ignatius, Julius Caesar, St. Ignatius Amphitheater, 6 p.m.
Aug. 30, Salmon, Idaho, Julius Caesar, Island Park, 6 p.m.
Aug. 31, Missoula, A Midsummer Night's Dream, University of Montana Oval, 6 p.m.
Sept. 1, Missoula, Julius Caesar, University of Montana Oval, 6 p.m.
Sept. 2, Manhattan, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Alterbrand Park, 6 p.m.
Sept. 3, Gardiner, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Arch Park, 6 p.m.
Sept. 4, Laurel, Julius Caesar, Laurel Practice Football Field, 6 p.m.
Sept. 5, Bozeman-Valley West, Julius Caesar, Valley West Subdivision- 6 p.m.
Sept. 6, Townsend, Julius Caesar, Heritage Fun Park, 6 p.m.
Sept. 7, Chico Hot Springs, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Front Lawn Chico, 6 p.m.
Sept. 8, Anaconda, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Washoe Park, 6 p.m.
Sept. 9, Deer Lodge, Julius Caesar, Old Montana Prison Yard, 6 p.m.
Sept. 10, Butte, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mural Park, 6 p.m.
Sept. 11, White Sulphur Springs, Julius Caesar, White Sulphur Springs School Lawn, 6 p.m.
Sept. 12, Bozeman-MSU- Family and Graduate Housing-, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Grant Chamberlain Park, 1p.m.

Kathy Jahnke (406) 994-1220,