Montana troupe brings Shakespeare to area

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks performs “Othello” at the Montana State University Duck Pond, in Bozeman, Montana. (MSU Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez / Montana State University)
Charlotte Mae Ellison (left) as Emilia, Madison Hart (center) as Desdemona and Yao Dogbe (right) as Othello in “Othello,” presented by Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. (MSU Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez / Montana State University)
“Love’s Labour’s Lost” features Charlotte Mae Ellison as Moth and Jordan Pettis as Don Adriano de Armado (MSU Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez / Montana State University)

Saturday, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is coming to Liberty Lake with a performance of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” at Pavillion Park. Sunday the theater group continues on to Sandpoint with “Othello” at Bonner County Fairgrounds.

“Love’s Labour’s Lost” chronicles the sometimes comedic struggles of a king and his knights who have sworn off love for three years – until they meet the queen of a neighboring country and her ladies-in-waiting.

“Othello” is a tragic masterpiece centered around innocence, betrayal, jealousy, domestic violence and the steady degradation of an unfairly doomed relationship.

This is the group’s first season performing “Othello.”

Artistic director Kevin Asselin said the shows are both relevant today. “I think that theater and the arts in general provide us a safe space, a neutral zone to have positive conversation about issues related to psychology, to race, to gender,” he said. “That’s really what I wanted to offer to our communities as well. To experience cultural diversity, psychological drama, remarkable language, all in the neutral safety zone that theater offers.”

Since 1973, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks has provided professional quality theater to communities that are typically underserved in the north and midwestern United States.