Montana Shakespeare in the Parks has been
recommended for a grant of $35,000 from the
National Endowment for the Arts. In total, the
Arts Endowment will distribute more than $88
million to support projects nationwide.
An independent agency of the federal government,
the National Endowment for the Arts
advances artistic excellence, creativity, and
innovation for the benefit of individuals and
“Not only is the funding vital, but it is also
important to have the seal of approval from our
national arts organization to validate the work
we do in rural communities,” said Joel Jahnke,
Artistic Director of Montana Shakespeare in
Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is a nationally
recognized outreach program of the College of
Arts and Architecture at Montana State University,
and provides professional, outdoor theatre
productions of Shakespeare and other classics
to communities in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho,
North Dakota and Washington, with an emphasis
on underserved, rural areas. This summer will
feature 75 performances of two Shakespearean
plays, Much Ado About Nothing and The Merchant
of Venice, in 60 communities.
MSIP is the only fully professional theatre program
in the state producing Shakespeare’s plays, the only
Shakespeare company in the country to reach as
extensively into rural areas, and the only company in
the state that offers its performances free to the public.
For the majority of these communities, especially
in under-served, rural areas, MSIP is their only access
to live, professional theatre.
The company launches its 10-week tour with six
performances in Bozeman (June 15-25) before hitting
the road June 27. The Merchant of Venice will play in
Big Sky September 1.