Mirth & Merriment: A holiday performance from Texas Shakespeare festival players

“We wanted to give our audience something they have never seen before,” said Meaghan Simpson, artistic director of The Texas Shakespeare Festival.
Mirth & Merriment: A holiday performance from Texas Shakespeare festival players
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 10:56 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Texas Shakespeare festival is putting on a holiday themed play called Mirth & Merriment for the second year in a row.

The play is an adaptation based on real letters to Santa Claus, poems, songs, and a combination of short stories.

“We wanted to give our audience something they have never seen before,” said Meaghan Simpson, artistic director of The Texas Shakespeare Festival.

The narrative of the play is based on a modern-day Grinch or Scrooge who is greeted by a group of carolers.

Professional actors, actresses, and Kilgore College students all worked together to put on this play.

“There’s so many traditions around Christmas; a lot of people love to go see the Nutcracker or go see the Christmas Carol every year and we love those traditions, too, but it’s fun to offer something that’s unique,” Simpson said.

The Texas Shakespeare Festival is East Texas’s only professional theatre and is in their 32nd season, Simpson told us.

The company includes around 85 people and was founded in1986 by Raymond Caldwell, who was a theatre teacher at Kilgore College.

Caldwell began a professional summer theatre. He started an original history play called The Daisy Bradlee 3 and paired it with Shakespeare plays to attract more actors. They sold out all the seats at their first play and the company has been ongoing since.

Mirth & Merriment will play on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Texas Shakespeare Festival is putting on a road show tour in the spring during which they will travel to different schools in East Texas to perform plays.