2023 Odessa Shakespeare Festival celebrates first sell-out in 5 years

Cast members perform a scene during “Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits” Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, at the Odessa College Globe Theatre. Michael Bauer|Odessa American

Odessa Arts, in collaboration with the Odessa College and Texas Shakespeare Festival in Kilgore, hosted the 2023 Odessa Shakespeare Festival Nov. 13 – 18.

In the week-long celebration of the arts, the 2023 Odessa Shakespeare Festival captivated audiences, hosting an impressive 2,000 students from the Permian Basin from Odessa, Crane, and as far away as Fort Stockton. The festival showcased 10 school performances, marking a significant cultural milestone for the region. For most of the students, it was their first time experiencing live theater.

The festival also included two evening public performances Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits on Friday, November 17th, and Romeo and Juliet Nov. 18. The Texas Shakespeare Festival Roadshow also hosted three workshops in Odessa one for the Ector County Juvenile Detention Center, Kaleidoscope Company from Basin Theater Works, and a final open to the public workshop Nov. 18.

The festival’s highlight was the Saturday evening performance of “Romeo and Juliet,” which witnessed the festival’s first sold-out show in five years. The spirited response from the audience reflected the success of the festival in bringing the timeless works of Shakespeare to life, a news release said.

The Odessa Shakespeare Festival held annually, serves as a platform for professional actors and a cultural experience for the Permian Basin.

Odessa Arts extends its gratitude to the community for their overwhelming support, making the Odessa Shakespeare Festival a resounding success. As the curtains close on this remarkable week, the festival remains committed to fostering a deep appreciation for the arts in the Permian Basin, the release said.