The Roundup -

Shakespeare In The Parks To Present 'Richard III'


The play will be performed at 6 p.m. July 7 at Veterans Memorial Park.

For the first time in the company's history, which started in 1973, the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks will perform "Richard III" this year.

The Sidney community will have the treat of seeing this performance on July 7 starting at 6 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park.

Kevin Asselin, who is the artistic director, said there's so much that he appreciates about the historical play written by William Shakespeare.

"The play, I think, is a masterpiece of the power of rhetoric and the language is unique in Shakespeare's canon," Asselin said.

Although the play takes place in medieval times, Asselin sees similarities to the current political atmosphere in the United States. "The way characters work to achieve their ultimate goal."

He added, "The pursuit of leadership and success is just as relevant today."

The group has already performed the play in Bozeman as of this writing.

"Audiences really seem to enjoy the escalation to the blockbuster ending," Asselin said.

The director feels one of the reasons that "Richard III" hasn't been performed by Montana Shakespeare in the Parks' 44-year history until now is that the play is Shakespeare's third longest. "All of our performances need to be under two hours because of daylight," Asselin explained.

In order for the performance to become a reality, Asselin cut the 38,500 word play into 15,300 words.

"I basically chopped the play in half," he noted. "

Another challenge was the amount of characters in the play. Asselin said actors are playing two, three or even four roles.

"Producing it and building it was definitely a challenge," Asselin said.

He added actors are enjoying playing the various and strong roles that the play offers.

"I think it's been a blast," Asselin said. "The actors have really had a good time."

Other area performances include July 1 at 6:30 p.m. in Wolf Point, July 2 at 6:30 p.m. in Beach, July 3 at 6:30 p.m. in Ekalaka, July 5 at 6:30 p.m. in Miles City and July 6 at 7 p.m. in Glendive.

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 performance.


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