The Bard is back at Kilgore's Texas Shakespeare Festival - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

The Bard is back at Kilgore's Texas Shakespeare Festival

Just some of the actors graceing the stage at Kilgore's Anne Dean Turk Fine Arts Center. Just some of the actors graceing the stage at Kilgore's Anne Dean Turk Fine Arts Center.
KILGORE, TX (KLTV) -

The Texas Shakespeare Festival in Kilgore has been performing Shakespeare longer than Shakespeare himself wrote plays...thirty years, in fact. It all starts June 30.

Founder of the Texas Shakespeare festival, Raymond Caldwell, says it’s rough to be part of this gig.

“They work from 9 o’clock in the morning until 10:30 in the evening, 6 days a week. Each actor is in at least three shows playing at least three characters,” Caldwell said.

The festival goes on for the whole month of July, but some in the area misunderstand what it’s about.

“They think since it’s at Kilgore College that it’s Kilgore College students doing Shakespeare in the summer. That’s never been the case,” Caldwell explained.

There are a few Kilgorians who help out, like Wyatt Roberts, who recently graduated from Kilgore College.

“I’m a theater major, and I previously was a work study for the Shakespeare Festival,” Roberts revealed.

And he jumped at being an intern for the summer.

But the actors are from 29 states. Caldwell also says every year he or another actor hears from people who were unaware of the festival. The actors may say:

“I met someone in town, and mentioned the Shakespeare Festival and they said: What?” Caldwell relayed.

But on the other hand:

“It’s very gratifying to know that, for instance, last year we had audience member from 150 towns in Texas, 44 states and 12 foreign countries,” Caldwell said.

Media day is the opportunity for to spread the Shakespearean word for Kilgore College, with plenty of still photography. So which of Shakespeare’s 37 plays are being performed?

“Henry V, Spirit of the Sea, Carousel, Blithe Spirit, The Merchant of Venice, The Belle of Amherst,” the respective in-costume actors told me.

Well, this has sort of been a posing session.

Tickets are on sale now, and if you want to go, you might want to reserve soon. Seating is limited and the plays usually sell out. If you want to find out more just click here.

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