MSIP bringing ‘Othello’ to town

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SANDPOINT — Shakespeare returns to Sandpoint for the fourth year as Montana Shakespeare in the Parks comes to town next month to perform “Othello”.

The performance will take place Sunday, Aug. 19, at the Bonner County Fairgrounds. Hosted by Lost Horse Press — an independent nonprofit press that publishes contemporary poetry and makes available fine literature of all genres through cultural, educational, and publishing programs and activities — it carries out its mission to inspire and educate people through programs such as Montana Shakespeare in the Parks’ free plays each summer.

The performance is free and open to the public, and gates at the fairgrounds will open at 3 p.m., with the play starting at 6 pm. People are encouraged to arrive early with chairs, blankets, and picnics to spend time with friends and neighbors and to enjoy the pre-play performances. Shakespeare in Sandpoint is made possible by a generous grant from the Bonner County Fund for Arts Enhancement in the Idaho Community Foundation.

As an added treat, Gypsy Divas Dance Troupe will perform throughout the afternoon. Gypsy Divas offers a blend of unique styles, costumes, music and expression, and is made up of local Sandpoint women dancers. Having been a troupe for over nine years, the Divas have built loving relationships and a devotion to this ancient art of dance. The director, Brietta Leader, co-choreographs with Hallie Owen and Titina VanHoorn, and views being a member of a dance troupe as another gateway for spiritual expansion.

Lost Horse Press’ will continue the collaboration initiated last Summer with the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint with MCS’ young music students performing an opening concert.

This year, the Sandpoint performance of “Othello” will be filmed by PBS for inclusion in a documentary about Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, to be shown on Montana PBS and nationally.

During its upcoming summer tour throughout Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota and Washington, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks will perform — for the first time in the troupe’s 46-year history — William Shakespeare’s “Othello”, which will be directed by Kevin Asselin and “Love’s Labour’s Lost”, which will be directed by guest director Steve Cardamone. The company features 10 professional actors selected from national auditions who tour without technical assistance to bring professional live theatre to rural communities.

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is a nationally recognized outreach program of the College of Arts & Architecture at Montana State University, and is the only Shakespeare company to reach as extensively into rural areas, and the only company in the state that offers its performances free to the public, guaranteeing accessibility to all.

A variety of grants, corporate sponsorships, and hundreds of individual donors support the free performances held throughout the region, although each community host is responsible for raising the funds necessary to bring the troupe to their town.

For more information on the play and a complete tour schedule, visit the company’s website at shakespeareintheparks.org. For information about Shakespeare in Sandpoint, please contact local host Lost Horse Press at 208-255-4410 or email losthorsepress@mindspring.com.

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