Texas Shakespeare Festival prepares for month-long celebration

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Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 2:39 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2022 at 7:05 PM CDT
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KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - Since 1984 the works of Shakespeare have been featured at Kilgore College, and The Texas Shakespeare Festival is about to go into its first act.

Texas Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Meaghan Simpson says their media day is the public’s first glimpse at what’s to come this season.

“We have two actors. We have D.J. Canaday, and he is playing Prospero in The Tempest among other roles, but he’s costumed as Prospero today. The other actor is Tara Clinkscales, and Tara is the title role Nell Gwynn in Nell Gwynn,” Simpson said.

There are a total of five different plays in July. D.J. isn’t new to the fest.

“This is his fifth season. He has been here on and off since, I think, 2017, doing summer seasons, he does the road show with us. He’s done a holiday show with us. So D.J. is a very familiar face. He’s also the writer of our children’s play this year: The Hog Princess,” Simpson said.

And the director as well. And Tara from North Carolina, well it’s her:

“First season with us,” Simpson said.

“I absolutely love it. I just graduated from college, and I honestly wanted my first job to be something that was like safe so I could grow before I really get thrown into the business for real,” Clinkscales said.

And she feels she has made a good choice for her debut. And pretty much all cast and crew don’t just work on one play.

“I’m doing three plays. I’m doing Taming of the Shrew, Nell Gwynn, and Music Man,” Clinkscales said.

She, and the other actors say they don’t tend to confuse roles since they are pretty different, but it’s a lot of memorizing. The cast is ready and:

“I think that people are excited now that we’re through most of the hump of COVID and the pandemic. I think that people are really ready to get back to the theater and they weren’t quite ready in 2021,” Simpson said.

And if you’re thinking: To go, or not to go: that is the question. Well, if you think it too long, it may be not since tickets sales are brisk.

If you want to know more about the Texas Shakespeare Festival at Kilgore click here.

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