The Texas Shakespeare Festival has announced its 2021 production schedule and will stage shows that were planned for this past year before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the season.

“We are bringing Shakespeare back to East Texas this summer,” Artistic Director Meagan Simpson announced in a video posted to YouTube.

The following performances are scheduled:

July 1 — 31: “The Merry Wives of Windsor” by William Shakespeare

July 2 — 31: “The Book of Will” by Lauren Gunderson

July 3 — Aug. 1: “Romeo and Juliet” By William Shakespere

July 4 — Aug. 1: The musical version of “The Bridges of Madison County” by Marsha Norman and Jason Robert Brown

July 21 — 31: A world premiere children’s production of “The Gnomes of Gnot-A-Hill by festival alumni Grace Abele and DJ Canaday

The festival has been working on the productions since 2019, and Simpson said the company of artists and patrons have been waiting patiently for the upcoming season.

“You, our patrons, who have shown us unwavering support through phone calls and emails, through donations, and through an understanding as we went through a year like no other,” Simpson said.

The festival will continue to implement COVID-19 safety precautions.

“We ask you to expect social-distanced seating in the audience,” Simpson said.

Audience capacity will be capped at 50%, and masks will be mandatory. In the announcement video, a quote from Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost” was featured: “We shall every one be mask’d.”

“Because there will be limited seating in the auditorium, tickets will most definitely sell out,” Simpson said.

Tickets will go on sale online only for active guild members May 1 and will be available to the general public online only May 8.

“If you are ready to get back to the theater and see a show this summer, we recommend looking at the calendar and getting your dates selected so that you are ready to go on May 1,” Simpson said. “If you are not a guild member and would like to join to get early access, we welcome you to do so.”

For information, visit .

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Courtney Stern is a public safety reporter covering a wide range of topics. She grew up in Baltimore and later earned a journalism degree from the University of Miami. Stern moved to East Texas from Iowa with her husband and two dogs, Pebbles and Bam Bam.