According to the festival’s artistic director Dr. Thomas Walsh, the festival was founded five years ago in response to TCU’s call for ideas that would transform the university. Dr. Harry Parker and Dr. Walsh of TCU’s theatre department put together a proposal for a Shakespeare festival at TCU and received a Vision in Action grant from the university to fund their project.
“We put together the idea of a Shakespeare festival because Fort Worth lost its festival 12 years ago, and there was no festival in this area at all,” Walsh said when asked how the program was started.
Over the past few years the critically acclaimed festival has grown, but its purpose remains the same, Walsh said.
“For a lot of people Shakespeare is difficult to watch or read, and so our goal is to make Shakespeare easily accessible to audiences,”Walsh said. “I think we’ve been successful in that people will come out of the festival often saying, ‘You know, this is the first time I’ve understood every word in a Shakespeare play.’”
The Trinity Shakespeare Festival Company also goes a step further to promote the work of Shakespeare. During the run of the summer festival, the company holds a summer Shakespeare camp for youth and teens called Camp Willy. During this two-week camp, members of the company instruct students in a variety lessons, which lead up to their own performance of one of Shakespeare’s plays.
This year’s festival began June 11 and will continue through June 30. The company will show Taming of the Shrew and Julius Caesar alternately every night. Tickets can be purchased at the TCU Box Office or online at trinityshakes.org.
See below for a timeline of this year's production.