All photography provided by Tonya Lessley/Inspire Photo Art

We provide year-round classical literary, educational, and theatrical opportunities for children ages 5-17 to include multiple full-length productions of Shakespeare's plays, as well as additional workshops and camps throughout the season on topics such as fight choreography, archery, and behind-the-scenes internships, just to name a few.

Our Mission

To further that goal, we believe that performing Shakespeare and other classical literary works presents a linguistic challenge for children which gives them an opportunity to remember that they are capable, smart, witty, and courageous!  When they are up there on stage performing such works, and are able through their own hard work to completely understand what it is they are saying, they are then able to educate the audience as well.  This is so much more than memorizing lines to a play, it's proving to themselves that they can do something that's difficult and requires a lot of effort, and can do it together as a team, AND they can be successful at it!   


Using Shakespeare’s language to promote self-esteem and team building is probably just the most unexpected bonus about doing these sorts of projects! It’s thrilling to see the kids blossom and grow so big through the sheer accomplishment of understanding what they’re saying, and finding a way to make the meaning of it obvious to the audience.
— Aimee Devlin, Executive Director

What We've Achieved

THUS FAR:

  • The Robin Hood Festival: For many years we hosted a camp during the last days of summer in a meadow outside of town. It was a magical three days spent with professional medieval archery instructors, Shakespearean theatrical directors, and professional fight directors. The kids got a chance to work on Shakespearean text analysis, character development, and physical comedy, all within the framework of some of Shakespeare's great scenes.

  • We continue our commitment to host the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks' SHAKES in the Schools events for our homeschooling community two times a year. These world-class events performed by professional actors from across the country are combined with educational workshops all afternoon led by the actor/teachers themselves.

  • A 17th Century Dance Workshop & Family Concert Featuring Musicians from Williamsburg, VA. We went back in history to a time when traveling dance instructors arrived in town and the community stopped what they were doing to learn the latest dances together. It was a rare opportunity to learn 17th Century dances accompanied by period musicians on instruments like the hurdy-gurdy, serpent horn, violin, and baroque flute!

  • We provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a group of TCSS's young musicians, allowing them to gather on our back porch with the world-reknowned celtic band Solas! The kids got to jam with these iconic musicians in their field of interest.

  • We have also produced a free public concert in the park by the I-90 Collective, a quartet which uses period instruments to both entertain and educate people about music from the baroque period.

  • We raised over $600 during As You Like It and through our "Busking for Birney" dance in August for the town of Birney, MT to support them in their efforts to continue bringing their beloved Montana Shakespeare in the Parks performances to their tiny town each summer.

 

  • We provided funding to one of our young performers to write, direct, and perform an original piece of theater.

  • We have begun a pre-professional company made up of our oldest performers who have been with the company since they were 8,9,and 10. These kids now have more experience performing Shakespeare than many college theater graduates! We are committed to pairing them with professionals in the fields they are interested in entering such as directing, producing, costume and the scenic arts.

  • Our multiple Shakespeare's Music workshops over the past year with the versatile vocalist/musician Moira Smiley has led to her moving to Bozeman part-time and beginning to assemble a home-school choir for our kids. It all began when took 19 kids and had them singing 4 part harmony in Latin within the first 30 minutes! It just continues to get better from there!

  • Our Pop-Up performance at a private barn outside of Bozeman proved to us all that we don't need a dedicated theater space to perform within! It was most well-attended event thus far, and so exciting as our beloved pony Pecos Bill finally got his well-deserved cameo! We will continue to find innovative ways to afford to bring out unique brand of theater to Bozeman in surprise venues around the valley.

  • Through a generous anonymous contribution, we were able to bring in a visiting director last fall during As You Like It. This provided the kids an opportunity to work with M. Douglas McIntyre, a well respected physical comedian from The Magic Circle Mime Company in San Francisco.

  • We continue to foster mentoring collaborations between musically talented kids from our group with adult professional musicians from our community. This began during The Three Musketeers when an 11 year old performer came to us with pieces she'd already composed specifically for The Three Musketeers. Being desirous of the opportunity to learn more about composing music for theater, she asked if she could take part in that activity for 'Three'. This led to her collaborating to come up with the music for the show!

I really love Shakespeare’s language, it is so different and so much richer than our language today...
— Performer, age 11

All photography provided by Tonya Lessley/Inspire Photo Art