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For a performance in a modern pandemic, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks brought back an old-fashioned medium: the radio play.

On Saturday evening, a cast of 10 Montana Shakespeare in the Parks actors will perform Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” live from the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, complete with giant plexiglas boxes to keep actors safe and healthy.

“It’s just been really wonderful to be in the room with artists, to be working this collaborative nature safely,” said Kevin Asselin, the executive artistic director of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and the actor playing the play’s main protagonist. “It’s been a lot of work, but I think that the work is really paying off in terms of everybody feeling safe, comfortable and able to be free to collaborate and be artistic.”

For rehearsals and the live-streamed play, each of the 10 actors are in a 7-foot-tall, 3-foot-wide plexiglas box with a music stand and microphone, each spaced 6 feet apart. When outside the box or not speaking into the mic, actors wear masks, Asselin said.

The normally six-hour rehearsals were cut in half to reduce potential exposure, and the company worked with MSU and the Gallatin City-County Board of Health to make sure its safety precautions were appropriate.

“The last time that we were together doing anything was that production of Cyrano (de Bergerac) that we had to cancel four days before opening,” Asselin said. “So there’s excitement, there’s nerves, but more than anything, to be able to come together as artists in a safe way, it’s been amazing.”

Changing up the way the play was presented from a physical format to an audio format was a challenge, Asselin said. Scenes that normally relied on physical cues — like a sword fight or an actor running around the stage — had to be considered in a different light.

“Once you put the headphones on and you’re up against a microphone, you quickly realize that the delivery and the focus on language has to be much more intimate,” Asselin said. “That was a completely new experience for me. But I think it’s been fun.”

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks’ radio performance of “Hamlet” will be livestreamed at 7 p.m. on Saturday on the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center’s website, Additional airing times and more information on Montana Shakespeare in the Parks can be found at

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at or at (406) 582-2651.

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