Montana State University

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks will perform Declaration July

June 14, 2010

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Montana Shakespeare in the Parks will commemorate Independence Day with a special presentation of the Declaration of Independence prior to its July 3 show in Bozeman.

The presentation at 8 p.m. will be prior to the MSIP performance of "Julius Caesar" at The Grove, which is adjacent to the Montana State University Duck Pond, just north of the intersection of 11th Avenue and Grant Street.

Joel Jahnke, artistic director of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, will be joined by the cast in a staged reading of the declaration prior to the performance. The recitation is part of a Shakespeare Theatre Association of America ceremony that will take place on stages across the country. Last year, Jahnke and members of the company read the declaration prior at the Fourth of July performance on Poker Jim Butte in Birney. Jahnke said both the actors and audience found it inspiring.

"It is a wonderful tradition that we hope to be a part of year after year," Jahnke said. "The audience goes completely silent and everyone listens to every word."

The event is part of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks' summer 2010 tour. The company will perform either "Julius Caesar" or "A Midsummer Night's Dream" during 75 performances in 60 communities throughout Montana, northern Wyoming, eastern Idaho and western North Dakota.

All performances of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, with the exception of those at Bozeman's Sweet Pea Festival Aug.6 and 8, 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.

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is an outreach of the MSU College of Arts and Architecture and the MSU School of Film and Photography. The troupe is in its 38th season. Its performances have become a summer tradition and seasonal highlight for many rural communities in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Western North Dakota.

For more information on the plays and a complete tour schedule visit the company's Website http://www2.montana.edu/shakespeare/.

Kathy Jahnke (406) 994-1220, kjahnke@montana.edu