Falstaff addresses the crowd at Lame Deer Elementary.Schedule for TourBrochure DownloadTeacher Toolkit
MONTANA SHAKES! and so should you!Since 1993, when Shakespeare in the Schools came into being, we have been performing Shakespeare for young people all across the region. While we often have performed in small schools that were comprised of grades K-12, the program's focus had always been junior high and high school level students. Having watched elementary school-aged children enjoying our summer productions for so many years and sensing there might be a need, we wanted to offer a program specifically targeting this age group, and that's how MONTANA SHAKES! was born. In the spring of 2008, a wonderfully creative team put together a pilot project to test the waters and the response was off the charts. This program, which features an interactive production of Shakespeare scenes, a lively talk back and workshops that build on the performance experience and are designed for different age levels, provides a perfect introduction to Shakespeare ata time when young people are the most receptive to learning. The goal of the program is to provide a positive first experience with Shakespeare and an introduction to his work that is based on appreciation, not apprehension. Given the response we have received thus far, this program truly delivers.
Spring 2013: All The West's A Stage: Brave New Words
The 2013 offering from MONTANA SHAKES! is All the West’s a Stage: Brave New Words. Join lovable Johnny Dropbottom in his dreamland where he is enlisted by none other than William Shakespeare himself to help him complete his latest great play, The Really Big Storm – or The Tempest – whichever title Shakespeare eventually settles on. They’re joined by Miss Molly Merryweather, a new student teacher who helps them craft the play using the basic elements of a story: character, setting, plot, conflict, and theme. With the help of Johnny and Miss Merryweather, and a lot of help from the audience, Shakespeare finds the inspiration he needs. As always, the play is accompanied by three sets of three related theatrical workshops (nine in all!) making for a fun-filled day for students K-5. To call to reserve a spot for your school or organization, contact Susan Dickerson at 406.994.3303. Slots are filling up fast!
Did we visit your school in the spring of 2013? Please let us know how we did by taking our 2013 Teacher Survey by clicking the link below.
How Does This Work?MONTANA SHAKES! only charges schools one-half of the actual cost of keeping the program on the road. The other half is made up through a combination of grants and individual donations. School administrations most often cover the fee, but oftentimes parent-teacher organizations or community groups help to pay for part or all of the program. If there is a school in your community that you feel would benefit from the MONTANA SHAKES! program, please contact Susan Dickerson at for more information on how you can help bring the program in.
List of Plays Through the Years
Auditions for MONTANA SHAKES!
Thank you for your interest in becoming a member of the MONTANA SHAKES! Acting Company.
Shakespeare in the Parks historically holds auditions in CHICAGO in January. These are by appointment only and information is placed on the web site as soon as it is available. Audition appointments often fill very quickly. In addition, the company attends the Montana summer theatre auditions which are held annually in Missoula on the University of Montana campus in late January. There is a participation fee for Non-University of MT students. Information for those auditions is also placed on the website as soon as it is known.
If time and schedules permit, private auditions in Bozeman can be arranged at any time by contacting our office (406) 994-3903 or we do accept video taped auditions. You may either submit a DVD or you can post your audition on YouTube and provide a link for us. Live auditions are always preferable. Casting is usually completed for the fall high school tour by the previous summer and for the spring elementary school tour by the previous winter. For more information, please call (406) 994-3903.
All auditions should include two contrasting Shakespearean selections. Please keep to less than four minutes in length.
Each year MONTANA SHAKES! employs 3 actors for a 10-week season that includes rehearsals and a multi-state tour in Montana and northern Wyoming. The play rehearses for one week starting in mid-March and then tours the region for a nine-week period ending in mid-May. Starting salaries are $420/week plus room and board allowance while on tour. Housing in Bozeman is also provided. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact our office.
Joel Jahnke, Artistic Director
MONTANA SHAKES! on the road
See more photos
What Teachers and Students Are Saying About MONTANA SHAKES!
Workshops OfferedThree workshops that get students actively engaged accompany this production.
Dispatches from the RoadFrom the company manager's journal on their visit to Alberton School in April 19, 2011
"The verse workshop continues to be a joy to teach, and excites and challenges me just as much as I challenge the students. I am infinitely fascinated and always taken aback by the true scope of their imaginations." ~ Mark Kuntz, Company Manager for All The West's a Stage: A Fool's Gold
More Teacher Comments from MONTANA SHAKES!
Full Workshop Descriptions and Objectives
Good Knight, Sweet Prince, Great King! Show and Workshops