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By Courtney Lane - bio | email

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - We are giving you a sneak peek into the Texas Shakespeare Festival. Bringing in actors from all across the country, it's a professional theatre right in your own backyard.

We caught the cast of Love's Labour's Lost rehearsing. Some may think the Texas Shakespeare Festival in Kilgore features local college students but that's not the case. These actors come from as far away as Canada and go through tough auditions. The ones that make the cut, travel here to east Texas this one time of year; rehearsing day and night to put on several showstoppers. It's a treat for many east Texans.

"It's a service to the community to give this level of professionality to people and I'm so glad that it exists because a lot of times in smaller communities they might not have the funding to promote this sort of artistic endeavor," said actress Angela Shipley. "With the work they do here and the way that the community supports it, they've really made Kilgore a little landmark here in east Texas."

The festival's founder, Raymond Caldwell, says the economy has definitely hit hard. Sponsors weren't able to give as much this year but he says the show will go on and tickets are still available.

"I think they'll be amazed to see what we have to offer if they've never been before," said Caldwell.  "I'm surprised every year that there are people right here that have never heard of the Texas Shakespeare Festival. Part of that is because we don't have an advertising budget but we've been here 24 years."

The festival runs from July 2nd to August 2nd. We'll show you much more tonight on KLTV at 10.

For more information and performance schedules, visit: www.texasshakespeare.com.

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