“BARD IN THE BACKCOUNTRY gives an unprecedented glimpse into the largest touring outdoor Shakespeare festival in the US. The film captures the innumerable practical and artistic decisions that go into a summer tour, following the actors as they arrive in Montana’s rural communities, set up their stage, and make Shakespeare come alive.”
– Dr. Gretchen Minton, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama, Montana State University
BARD IN THE BACKCOUNTRY chronicles a summer with “Montana Shakespeare in the Parks,” a professional theater company based in Bozeman, Montana. Viewers get a behind-the-scenes look at the ten actors on tour as they cover over sixty-five hundred miles to perform Shakespeare in the rural towns of this vast region. Along the way they encounter an array of characters, many of whom have been watching Shakespeare every summer for over forty years. We learn about the teamwork required to deliver a performance every evening in a new town and how the actors are also their own drivers, roadies, make-up artists, and set builders. Bard in the Backcountry reveals the mutual impact the tour has on the lives of these young actors and the people who put in the effort to bring Shakespeare to town. This journey provides a glimpse of the relevance that classic Shakespearean theater still holds in the lives of everyday people across the region.
Run time: 56:29 Closed Captioned
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Cindy Stillwell is a film artist whose films have screened at venues worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Sundance Film Festival, and the International Film Festival of Rotterdam. Stillwell received her MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She currently lives in Bozeman, Montana, where she is a professor of film production in the School of Film and Photography at Montana State University.