Montana Shakespeare in the Parks: The Recruiting Officer
Shakespeare's classic history and a comedy never produced by MSIP to be featured in the 41st summer season
In the last two weeks of June, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks will open its 41st season of providing free professional theatre productions of the classics throughout Montana and four neighboring states with two not to be missed selections; Shakespeare's Henry V andGeorge Farquhar's The Recruiting Officer. The summer season, which begins June 19th with eight performances in Bozeman, will be hitting the road on July 1st and will include 75 performances in 60 communities prior to its conclusion on September 9th. This summer MSIP is proud to announce that the entire summer season is generously sponsored by The Gianforte Family Foundation and welcomes them as the major presenting sponsor of the season.
One of the summer's most anticipated events all across the region, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks brings professional productions at no cost to the public to communities throughout Montana, northern Wyoming, eastern Idaho, western North Dakota and eastern Washington. Remarkably self-sufficient, the company features 10 professional actors selected by national audition who tour without technical assistance to bring live theatre to communities primarily in rural areas. This summer, with new communities including Malta, Thayne, WY, Livingston and the Rockin TJ Ranch in Bozeman, the anticipated audience of over 30,000 will be treated to two wonderful performances that encompass classic history to hilarious restoration comedy.
Beginning the 41st season will be one of Shakespeare's most popular history plays, Henry V. This production will be directed by Artistic Director Joel Jahnke who has been with the company since 1977. During his tenure, he has directed over forty productions for MSIP including nineteen of Shakespeare's plays. He has also directed for the Montana Repertory Theatre, greasy joan and company in Chicago and the Magic Circle Mime Company based in Seattle. This will be his second time directing Henry V, for MSIP. In the opening speech of Henry V, Shakespeare asks the audience, "On your imaginary forces work." since the obvious limitations of the stage could never adequately depict a battle of several thousand and all the elements of this historic story. The play is then theatrically structured with a narrator who introduces each scene. This theatricality will become the center of this focus for this production. Other than the actor playing Henry, the other nine actors will take on multiple roles changing costumes and gathering properties in full view of the audience. The Recruiting Officer, which is being produced by MSIP for the first time, is a delightful restoration comedy similar to productions that the company has produced previously such as The Rivals, She Stoops to Conquer and The Country Wife and will be directed by Associate Artistic Director, William Brown. The play will be set in in the early eighteenth century and will emphasis the 'comedy of manners' style often associated with this time period. Elegant costumes and beautiful scenery along with original music by award winning composer Andrew Hansen will complement this hilarious restoration comedy.
For more information on the plays and a complete tour schedule visit the company's website at shakespeareintheparks.org
ATTENDING A PERFORMANCE
All performances, with the exception of the Sweet Pea Festival are free and tickets are not needed for admission. Audiences are encouraged to show up prior to the appointed curtain time with blankets or chairs, a picnic supper, and plenty of friends and family to enjoy the evening.
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