Montana Shakespeare in the Parks will give a free performance of “Henry IV, Part I” on Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 6 p.m., Cut Bank City Park.

Kevin Asselin, executive artistic director, will direct “Henry IV, Part I,” Asselin said the recent centennial of World War I inspired him to set “Henry IV, Part I” in that era.

“The play has such a deep relationship with the true meaning of honor,” Asselin said. “Shakespeare gives us multiple viewpoints on what honor means to us as individuals. And it has a great relationship to Montana. If you look at the veteran population through the past 125 years, Montana leads the nation in terms of veterans per capita. I felt the connection would be exciting for us to explore.”

One of Shakespeare’s most popular characters, Falstaff, is featured prominently in both plays. The drunken knight is a foil to Prince Hal in “Henry IV” and is the catalyst for the comic action in “Merry Wives.” Returning actor Steve Peebles will play the role.

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is an outreach program of Montana State University’s College of Arts and Architecture. Grants, corporate sponsorships and hundreds of individual donors support the free performance.

This year’s major sponsors include: the National Endowment for the Arts; ArtWorks; the Gilhousen Family Foundation; the Gianforte Family Foundation; Pheasant Farms; Spectec: Thunderbird International Corporation; the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Foundation; the Montana Arts Council; Barnard Construction; D.A. Davidson and Company; KBZK; ERA Landmark; Yellowstone Public Radio; and Sibayne-Stillwater.

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