TSF Guild gets backstage bonus today

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The Texas Shakespeare Festival Guild is thanking its members by giving them a look behind the scenes of the festival Sunday.

Members will be treated to a 3 p.m. backstage tour of the theater and will get a chance to see the festival’s craftspeople as they build sets, prepare lighting and create costumes.

“This is our fourth year doing the ‘Behind the Scenes,’” said Kim Macedo, Co-Vice President of Guild Events. “It is one of the many benefits of joining the Texas Shakespeare Festival Guild.”

The TSF Guild, the volunteer arm of the TSF Foundation, was created in 1994 to help support the festival when it grew too large to be funded solely by Kilgore College. Each year, the foundation and the guild plan fundraising events to financially-support the festival’s cast and crew. Membership dues, for example, help pay for meals for the TSF company, and guild members also help plan events for the group.

The backstage tour is one of the ways that the guild thanks its members for their financial support and the hours that they volunteer to help make the festival a reality.

“At the Festival Center we get to see the costume designs for the upcoming season and some of the costumes,” Macedo said. “We also take a tour of the costume storage which is fascinating and is organized according to time period. The next stop is props. There we could see just about anything.

“Last year they were making a body to represent a dead king. Sometimes they are making fake food. After that we head upstairs to see where the actors practice sword fighting, voice, and blocking. Sometimes we get lucky and get to peek into a rehearsal.”

One of the primary ways the guild supports the festival is through membership dues. Membership can be purchased at different levels, starting at $20 for one year of active membership. Members get the opportunity to volunteer at the festival and are invited to special events.

The guild has a membership drive during each summer season: according to TSF Guild President Claudia Morgan-Gray, joining the guild is just one way to support the festival and many options for support are available to those who are interested.

“There are many ways to support the Festival, the Foundation and the Guild, collectively or individually. Purchasing tickets and attending the many wonderful performances is a way to support the Festival. We also have many ways to financially support TSF through donations either as a corporate, foundation, individual or trust donor to the TSF Foundation.”

To learn more about the TSF Guild or to become a member, visit TexasShakespeare.com/Join-Guild. This season of the festival kicks off with a performance of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” at the Van Cliburn Auditorium June 28. Tickets are available at TexasShakespeare.com or by calling the box office at 903-983-8601 Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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