The Trinity Shakespeare Festival has hosted two Shakespeare plays annually since 2009, and this year is no different.
The Festival is a community project. Since its inauguration, it has relied on grants, donations and volunteer work to continue yearly performances.
Patrons of this year’s Fest can choose between The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare’s first comedy, or The Tempest, Shakespeare’s last play.
“The Arts Council of Fort Worth has generously given us a grant, but we rely heavily on donations from longtime supporters of the arts like the Amon G. Carter Foundation and several others,” company manager Bailey Betik said.
TCU has been a supporter of the event from the beginning, Betik said. After the dilution of Shakespeare in the Park, run by the City of Fort Worth a few years ago, TCU professor T.J. Walsh and Department Chair Harry Parker decided it was time for Fort Worth to reboot Shakespeare.
“TCU gave them funding to do so, as well as a space to host it in,” Betik said.
The Festival has a single group of actors who preform both plays. The actors are a combination of trained professionals and TCU students. Kyle Montgomery, a senior musical theater major, and TCU alum Rashaun Sibley, both preform in the play as acting interns. Working as acting interns not only gives Montgomery and Sibley the opportunity to work alongside seasoned actors, but also gives them a sense of what it takes to put on a large production.
All acting interns are required to take a key element of pre-production such as working on building sets, costumes or working on company management.
“Working these jobs makes you a well-rounded person and actor,” Montgomery said. “It provides good life skills.”
Working with seasoned professionals is an added bonus for all the interns.
“I did it to be with the pros, and learn from them.” Sibley said.
Working on two Shakespeare plays at the same time is quite a challenge, Sibley said, but it’s also an experience that helps young actors grow.
“It’s the most rewarding part,” he said.
Tickets for the Festival, which runs through June 29, are $10-$25. The Tempest, directed by T.J. Walsh, is running at TCU’s Hays Theatre while The Comedy of Errors, directed by Joel Ferrell, is being performed at Buschman Theatre. For more information, visit www.trinityshakes.org.