Montana Shakespeare to perform in 61 communities this summer in the Parks

The company will perform two shows in Billings in July, including a Thursday, July 21, performance of “Richard III” at 6 p.m. and a Friday, July 22, performance of “The Comedy of Errors” at 6 p.m. Both performances will be held in Pioneer Park, and are free.

BOZEMAN — Montana Shakespeare in the Parks will perform William Shakespeare’s “Richard III” and “The Comedy of Errors” during its upcoming summer tour of 61 communities throughout Montana, northern Wyoming, eastern Idaho, western North Dakota and eastern Washington.

Ten professional actors selected from national auditions will tour with the company to bring live theater to many rural communities. This summer, 66 percent of the communities reached by the troupe have populations of 5,000 or fewer. The tour begins on June 15 with an 8 p.m. in Bozeman at MSU.

“We are very much looking forward to producing both plays this summer,” said Kevin Asselin, executive artistic director. “This will be the first time in MSIP’s 44-year history that we’ll bring ‘Richard III’ to our stage. ‘Richard’ will fit right into what is already an active political year, reminding us how Shakespeare stays relevant even 400 years after his death.”

Asselin will direct “Richard III,” while Chris Duval, a University of Utah professor with many credits at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, will direct “The Comedy of Errors,” which the company hasn’t performed since 2002.

All performances, with the exception of those at Bozeman’s Sweet Pea Festival, are free. Audiences are encouraged to arrive early with chairs, blankets and picnics.

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is an outreach program of Montana State University’s College of Arts and Architecture. Grants, corporate sponsorships and hundreds of individual donors support the free performances.

For more information on the plays and a complete tour schedule, visit the company’s website: www.shakespeareintheparks.org.