The annual Montana Shakespeare in the Schools fundraiser is called The Elise Event as a tribute to patron Elise Donohue. It begins with beverages followed by a production of the classic comedy, "Twelfth Night." Following the performance, the audience will meet artistic director Joel Jahnke as well as the Shakespeare in the Schools actors and designers at a behind-the-scenes discussion and catered wine reception.
The production of "Twelfth Night," which was directed by Jahnke from the character Malvolio's point of view, "shows the audience how teasing and 'harmless' jokes can often feel quite differently to those that are the brunt of those jokes." This theme will carry over onto the workshops and discussion sessions which follow the performances, Jahnke said.
Jahnke said because of Donohue's underwriting of the event, 100 percent of the proceeds of the night will go to the Shakespeare in the Schools outreach program. Although each school that the troupe visits pays a sponsorship fee, it represents only one-fourth of the actual costs of bringing the program to each school, he said. The balance is made up through other sources, mostly individual donations.
"The Elise Event is an important component of that funding formula," Jahnke said.
Montana Shakespeare in the Schools, a nationally recognized outreach program of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, is currently in its 18th season. The 50-school tour began Oct. 8 and will run through Dec. 1, primarily in rural communities in Montana and northern Wyoming. During that time, the eight-member company of professional actors will perform for more than 12,000 students, teachers and community members and teach workshops to nearly 4,000 students.
Tickets for The Elise Event are $25, which includes the play and reception. They are available at First Interstate Bank in the Strand Union, Borders, Cactus Records or by calling the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks office at 994-3901. Seating is limited so advanced reservations are highly recommended.
The Black Box Theater is located in the Visual Communications Building, located at the corner of 11th and Grant in Bozeman.
Kathy Jahnke (406) 994-1220, firstname.lastname@example.org