Interlochen Shakespeare Festival receives two statewide theatre awards

The Interlochen Shakespeare Festival’s 2017 production of King Lear received two 2018 Wilde Awards from Encore Michigan.

The production won the the top prize in the Best of the Bard category, with longtime Interlochen Arts Academy theatre instructor David Montee, who played the title role, receiving an individual honor for Best Performance - The Bard. This is Montee’s second time receiving the prestigious award. Encore Michigan’s July 2017 review of King Lear called Montee a “force of nature.”

“The company and I are honored and humbled to be recognized by Encore Michigan,” said Montee. “It is a terrific privilege to present the works of history’s greatest playwright in the beautiful, natural setting of northern Michigan. It’s an even greater privilege to collaborate with my talented professional colleagues and former students in bringing the works of Shakespeare to life. This particular role was a life-changing experience for me, and that was primarily due to working with this lovely company of artists.”

The Wilde Awards, founded in 2002, honor the best theatre productions, actors, artists, designers, writers, and theatre technicians in the state of Michigan. Nominees for the awards are selected by Encore Michigan’s professional theatre critics.

The Interlochen Shakespeare Festival recently celebrated its 11th season in 2018 with performances of Much Ado About Nothing and A Doll’s House, Part 2. The festival’s goal is to engage northwest Michigan audiences through professional theatre that celebrates the Shakespearean imagination. In 2016, the festival expanded to highlight contemporary plays alongside Shakespeare’s classic works.

“The crowds that we see each summer for our festival are a testament to the timelessness of Shakespeare’s work, the talent of our faculty and alumni, and the rich educational experience that we provide to our students,” said Interlochen Director of Theatre and Interlochen Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director William Church. “Ingrained in Shakespeare’s works are universal themes that speak to what it means to be human. Those universal themes allow us to explore new ways to interpret and present the work of the Bard. It allows us the versatility and space to examine contemporary issues and themes through set, setting and casting. These awards are an affirmation of that tireless work. I am also deeply gratified to see my dear colleague and former teacher, David Montee, receive recognition for his outstanding performance.”

The lineup for the next Interlochen Shakespeare Festival will be announced in Spring 2019.

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