Montana Shakespeare in the Schools enters its 25th season in 2017 with a tour of “Twelfth Night” to regional middle and high schools. Several public performances will also be offered.
MSIS will perform the comedy to nearly 12,000 students in communities throughout Montana and Wyoming as a part of its annual fall tour, which begins Oct. 6.
The 10-week tour is the first of two educational outreach programs offered during the academic year by Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, which is based at Montana State University. The fall tour will conclude in mid-December. Montana Shakes!, a tour designed specifically for elementary school children, will tour from late February to mid-May
To accommodate schools’ scheduling needs, productions are trimmed to 80 minutes. Tailor-made workshops that relate back to the play accompany the production.
Kevin Asselin, executive artistic director of Montana Shakespeare in the Schools, said the goal of the troupe is to bring live, professional performances of Shakespeare’s plays to middle and high schools across Montana and Wyoming, emphasizing rural, underserved areas.
“Shakespeare in the Schools is one of the only programs in the country to reach as extensively into rural areas, bringing Shakespeare the way it was meant to be experienced, in a live performance,” Asselin said.
Chicago-based Marti Lyons will direct the production. Lyons has directed for Actors Theatre of Louisville, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Lookingglass Theatre Company and Writers’ Theatre, among others.
“’Twelfth Night’ is a comedy, but a comedy that bursts forth from a deep sadness,” Lyons said. “In this world, like in our world, love and joy can grow in the midst of sorrow and longing.”
The professional eight-member cast who make up the touring company have been chosen from national auditions. They will rehearse for three weeks in Bozeman before presenting the play to 49 middle and high schools in Montana and Wyoming.
Montana Shakespeare in the Schools began in 1993 with two professional actors performing scenes from Shakespeare’s plays with minimal costumes and scenery. It has grown to include an eight-member professional company that offers a full Shakespearean production complete with rich, originally designed costumes and scenery, as well as a talk back session and a full complement of workshops.
Special performances, open to the public, will be held in Buffalo, Wyoming; Fishtail; Dillon; and Bozeman. For more information on these performances, visit Montana Shakespeare in the Schools’ website.
Shakespeare in the School's 16th annual Elise Event, a fundraiser named in honor of the late Elise Donohue, will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at MSU’s Black Box Theater, located on the corner of 11th and Grant Street on the MSU campus in Bozeman. The event will include a performance of “Twelfth Night.”
Montana Shakespeare in the Schools is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts: Shakespeare in American Communities. Additional support comes from the Montana Arts Council: Artists in Schools and Communities and Montana Cultural Trust; the Homer A. and Mildred S. Scott Foundation; the Sidney E. Frank Foundation; the First Interstate Bank Foundation; the First Security Bank Foundation; and the Applied Materials Foundation, along with generous individual donors.
Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is an outreach program of The MSU College of Arts and Architecture.
For more information about Shakespeare in the Schools, visit the website at shakespeareintheparks.org or call 406-994-3303.
Shakespeare in the Schools 2016 tour – “Twelfth Night”
Oct. 6 – Anderson School, Bozeman
Oct. 9 – Plentywood High School, Plentywood
Oct. 10 – Medicine Lake High School, Medicine Lake
Oct. 11 – Bainville High, Bainville
Oct. 12 – Sidney High School, Sidney
Oct. 13 – Pine Hills Correctional Academy, Miles City
Oct. 16 – Worland High, Worland, Wyo.
Oct. 17 – Cody High, Cody, Wyo.
Oct. 18 – Powell High, Powell, Wyo.
Oct. 19 – Meeteetse High School, Meeteetse, Wyo.
Oct. 20 – Arts Roundup, Big Timber
Oct. 23 – Sweet Grass County High School, Big Timber
Oct. 24 – Buffalo High School, Buffalo, Wyo.
Oct. 24 – Buffalo High School, Buffalo, Wyo. – public performance
Oct. 25 – Sheridan High School, Sheridan, Wyo.
Oct. 26 – Lame Deer High School, Lame Deer
Oct. 27 –Tippet Rise Art Center, Fishtail – public performance
Oct. 30 – East Valley Middle School, East Helena
Oct. 31 – Capital HS, Helena
Nov. 1 – Helena High School, Helena
Nov. 2 – Townsend Middle School, Townsend
Nov. 3 – Belgrade High School, Belgrade
Nov. 6 – Hardin High School, Hardin
Nov. 7 – Roundup High School, Roundup
Nov. 8 – Sheridan High School , Sheridan, Mont.
Nov. 8 – University of Montana Western, Dillon – public performance
Nov. 9 – University of Montana Western, Dillon
Nov. 10 – Gallatin County Homeschool Group, Bozeman
Nov. 13 – Plains High School, Plains
Nov. 14 – West Valley Middle School, Kalispell
Nov. 15 – Kalispell Middle School, Kalispell
Nov. 16 – Columbia Falls High School, Columbia Falls
Nov. 17 – Columbia Falls High School, Columbia Falls
Nov. 18 – The Ellen Theater, Bozeman – public performance
Nov. 20 – Polson High School, Polson
Nov. 21 – Petra Academy, Bozeman
Nov. 22 – Shields Valley High School, Clyde Park
Nov. 27 – Belt High School, Belt
Nov. 28 – Power School, Power
Nov. 29 – Simms High School, Simms
Nov. 30 – Ronan High School, Ronan
Dec. 1 – Florence-Carlton High School, Florence
Dec. 4 – Frenchtown High School, Frenchtown
Dec. 5 – Alberton High School, Alberton
Dec. 6 – Loyola/St. Joes High School, Missoula
Dec. 7 – Ennis High School, Ennis
Dec. 8 – Lone Peak High School, Big Sky
Dec. 11 – Corvallis High School, Corvallis
Dec. 12 – Sentinel High School, Missoula
Dec. 13 – Whitehall High School, Whitehall
Dec. 14 – Chief Joseph Middle School, Bozeman
Dec. 15 – Manhattan High School, Manhattan