Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks

In its 38th season, MSIP is touring Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night's Dream all around Big Sky Country this summer.

Saturday, Aug. 21, marks their closest approach to The Inlander's distribution area — Heron, Montana, which is 40 miles southeast of Sandpoint, Idaho. That night at 6 pm Mountain Time (that's 5 pm Pacific), they'll pile out of vans, set up a stage and put on MND

Cross the river and the railroad tracks after turning off Hwy. 200, then follow the signs to the Community Center. It's free. Contact Debbie at

Joel Jahnke — MSIP's artistic director for the past 30 years — is aiming for a Midsummer atmosphere that's both fun "and a little nightmarish." His direction is influenced, he says, by the various Alice in Wonderland movies and by Avatar. After all, in Shakespeare's love-quadrangle, young lovers wake up abandoned in a dark and scary forest. And strange people have fallen in love with them. And some guy is running around with a donkey head on his shoulders. It's one weird, surrealistic — and eventually redemptive — night. 

MSIP will make stops in Libby, Kalispell, Missoula ... all over. Even Salmon, Idaho. (You get the idea.)

Trivia: MSIP's most famous alum is Bill Pullman (Sleepless in Seattle, 1993; Independence Day, 1997), who used to teach at Montana State. 

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