Celebrating its 27th season, it is once again time for the Texas Shakespeare Festival (TSF). From the opening night production on June 28 through the final curtain call on July 29, the Kilgore College campus will be transformed into a vibrant theatre district that rivals any performance experience found in Dallas, Houston, or even New York City.
It takes not only acting talent to ensure a successful season, but also those who are hard at work behind the velvet curtain. TSF guild member Rhonda Stephens enjoys working behind the scenes in a support and clerical capacity. She assists the TSF treasurer with banking and invoices, and also assists the TSF foundation by maintaining donor lists, mail-outs, and playbill lists. In addition to her service with the TSF, Ms. Stephens is also a member of the Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation.
“During the next four weeks hundreds of theater fans will come to the Kilgore-Longview area,” Ms. Stephens said. “They will be a boost to our local economy. But the real benefit to our community is the magic and wonder of seeing the talent and enthusiasm of professional actors, directors, costumes, and scenery designers. I am always amazed how Raymond Caldwell, TSF Artistic Director, finds the perfect cast and crew for all the plays.”
Ms. Stephens invites the community to attend performances of William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and Measure for Measure, along with The Liar by David Ives, and the musical Blood Brothers by Willy Russell. There will also be a children’s production, Quest for the Lost Chalice, an exciting adventure-tale about bravery, conquest, friendship, and the power of the imagination by Jason Richards. The Cmplt Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) will be performed as a special fundraising event for the Festival and is written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield.
Originally from Henderson, Ms. Stephens is a longtime resident of Longview. She graduated from Marshall High School, and received her degree in office technology from Kilgore College. Ms. Stephens and her husband, Rudy, have been married 39 years and are parents of son Rudy, daughter-in-law Christen, and grandchildren Taylor and Austin. Ms. Stephens serves as chairman of the Altar Guild at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.
“Volunteer for a project or organization that interests you and you feel benefits our community,” Ms. Stephens said. “When you do that, you commit your time and energy to help any way that you can.”