Posted: Jun 18, 2012 5:21 PM by Chet Layman - MTN News
Updated: Jun 18, 2012 9:56 PM
BOZEMAN- A group of Montana State University theater professionals decided to share a little Shakespeare with some neighboring communities some 40 years ago. What's since has become Shakespeare in the Park features professional actors and a 12-week run bringing classic stories to Montana and northern Wyoming parks.
Artistic Director Joel Janhke said it's a lot like a circus. "We're the only theatre they'll experience all year long, so when we show up it's a special event," Janhke said. "We play Huron, which has a population of 75, we get 650 people to come and see it."
When Jahnke joined in 1977, Shakespeare in the Parks lasted four weeks. These days, they traverse every corner of Montana for the summer. "We are available and accessible to pretty much anyone in the state of Montana, Janhke said. "Maybe a 60-mile drive would be the most."
Shakespeare workers were busy constructing props in the grove behind the duck pond on the MSU campus and Janhke said the most requested play isn't actually Shakespearean.
"Cyrano de Bergerac, I hear that often. We've done it twice and I hear it every year," he said.
They won't be performing Cyrano this year, but they will perform another favorite, 12th Night, and for the very first time in 40 years, Hamlet.
Missoula Shakespeare in the Parks is set for August 27th and August 28. For a full schedule, visit the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks site.