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It's a "Comedy of Errors" at the Heron Baseball Field

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Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is on the road for its 30th anniversary season

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks’ acting troupe is on the road again.  During the 8-week tour, this remarkable, 30-year old theatre company will visit 50 communities and perform a total of 68 performances throughout the tri-state area. Thanks to the ongoing support of corporate sponsors, especially the Montana Subaru dealers, all performances are free.  The Company’s 2002 summer repertoire features professional productions of Henry IV, part I and The Comedy of Errors.

The Heron ball field is the site for a local performance of The Comedy of Errors on August 24th at 6 pm. And for all you out-of-towners packing up the kids, the blankets and the coolers, don't forget it's at 6 pm... Montana time. All shows are free to the public.

Want to see Henry IV, too? It plays on Aug. 23rd in Libby at the Middle School Amphitheater- The Comedy of Errors will play there on the 22nd. Both shows are at 6 pm.

The Comedy of Errors will also be showing at the high school football field in Plains on August 25th at 6 pm.

Do yourself a favor; see both shows.  Bring your family and friends, a blanket, lawn chairs and a picnic supper and prepare yourself for an enchanting evening of Shakespeare performed under the big sky.  

Some consider The Comedy of Errors to be one of Shakespeare’s most hilarious plays.  Take a Roman comedy about a set of twins separated at birth, add another set of twin servants, mix them together with another dozen or so zany characters in a land filled with magic and enchantment where anyone you meet seems to be someone else and you’ll have The Comedy of Errors.  

Now picture an English king who has usurped the throne, a young prince who would much rather hang out with an obese, charming, loveable outlaw than take his responsible role as heir apparent, a hot-blooded upstart who can’t wait to start a civil war and you’ll envision Shakespeare’s most popular history, Henry IV, Part 1.   

As in past seasons, the acting company is comprised of professional actors from all across the country.  This year’s 11-member company will feature five veteran members from past tours.  Tim Hyland (Julius Caesar, 1996), a veteran actor from Seattle, returns to the company to play the pivotal role of Falstaff in Henry IV, Part 1.  “I very much enjoyed touring Montana a few years ago, and when I was offered the role, I jumped at the opportunity.” Hyland said.  “Falstaff is truly the role of a lifetime.” 

Other returnees include Susan Miller and Will Dickerson, who met during rehearsals for the 2001 season and recently returned to Bozeman to get married prior to honeymooning on the 2002 tour.  Great Falls native, Mark Kuntz and Todd Phillips, both of whom have toured with Shakespeare in the Parks summer and fall schools tour, complete the list of returnees.

Company members joining the company for the first time include Chicago actors, Kevin Asselin, Tracy Repep, Timothy Klein and Lydia Berger, who most recently appeared in a production of The Comedy of Errors in Chicago directed by Shakespeare in the Parks artistic director, Joel Jahnke.  David Chrzanowski from Milwaukee and Nick O’Donnell from Seattle complete the company.  The actors were chosen from auditions, which are held annually in Chicago, Seattle, Missoula and Bozeman.  According to Jahnke, “ I am very excited about this year’s acting company and all of them are equally anxious to share their many talents with our audiences all across the region.”

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is an outreach program of Montana State University-Bozeman and is supported through corporate sponsors such as Montana Lottery, Northwestern Energy, Success N Marketing and Target Stores, and grants from the Homer A. & Mildred S. Scott Foundation, Montana Arts Council, Montana Cultural Trust, Montana Committee for the Humanities and the Gilhousen Family Foundation.  For more information on the company or to access the summer tour schedule, either call 406-994-3901 or visit the company’s website at www.montana.edu/shakespeare.

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