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Texas Shakespeare Festival prepares to take the stage in Kilgore

KLTV’s Jamey Boyum gives us a quick look at the Texas Shakespeare Festival’s media day in...
KLTV’s Jamey Boyum gives us a quick look at the Texas Shakespeare Festival’s media day in Kilgore.
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 12:14 PM CDT
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KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - Wherefore art thou Romeo? This and a plethora of other Shakespearian questions will be answered at July’s Texas Shakespeare Festival at Kilgore College. And today, ten professional actors from around the country donned their costumes for the first time to give us a look at what cometh.

Texas Shakespeare Media Day has always been held on a stage, but this year, Artistic Director Meaghan Simpson wanted more than a black cloth background.

“We went to the historic post office here in downtown Kilgore to take photos in costumes and wigs of the different shows that we’re doing,” Simpson said. “We’re doing five shows; two Shakespeare plays, a musical non-Shakespeare play, and then a children’s play.”

The musical is “Bridges of Madison County” with Meghan Wright and Danny Crowe.

“First time to do Texas Shakespeare. I do have other Shakespeare experience though,” Crowe said.

Twenty-seven-year-old Crowe grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and has been acting since high school. Now it’s his full-time job, except for the dreaded hiatus of 2020.

“I booked up my year, just in time for March of 2020, and then you can probably fill in the rest of the blanks of what happened,” Crowe said.

It was pretty much nothing for Crowe; a little film work, but he auditioned when he could.

“It was still very much at a time when we weren’t sure if the theater was going to come back at all yet or not. But then I got a very exciting email, being like, ‘We’d like you to come have a summer here with us at Texas Shakespeare,’” Crowe said.

Crowe said he’ll do film, but enjoys what he says is the ever-changing shared experience of acting in front of a live audience.

“Especially in a world where there’s so much disconnection through digital stuff, having that shared experience together is now becoming increasingly rare, and I think it’s a beautiful thing,” Crowe said.

He, like some of the other actors, hasn’t performed in front of a live audience in about 17 months. So it indeed has gone from “all the world’s a stage” back to players sharing a story and an escape for people seated before them.

Mask wearing while attending a play is now optional.

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