By Carmen DeBello, Community Volunteer

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks has become a beloved summer tradition in Red Lodge. The Shakespearean theater company, run by MSU, visits nearly 100, mostly rural communities in 5 States every summer, traveling 7,000 miles over a span of 3 months, and providing exquisite outdoor Shakespeare performances, free of charge to the public.

Grabbing a picnic, and a good bottle of vino or champagne, has been a must-do in Red Lodge for nearly 40 years. Last year, due to the height of the pandemic, the tour was cancelled.

The Carbon County Arts Guild & Depot Gallery has graciously hosted MSIP in the past. Due to the pandemic and an inconvenient proposed date (the first day of the Rally), the Guild decided not to renew their commitment this year. A few discerning private citizens gathered to plot a rescue plan. The Red Lodge Theater Company, upon learning about the possible loss, jumped on board immediately, and offered to host. A new date was negotiated, August 4, and Guynema Terry has been working on designing theater workshops for children around MSIP’s performance.

The Red Lodge Area Community Foundation also offered instant support, as well as the Roosevelt Center as a backup rain location.

A wonderful coming together of our community has not only saved this beloved tradition from lapsing for the first time in nearly 40 years, but begun to expand it to include educational activities around it! Thank you, Red Lodge!