by AMELIA WEDEMEYER
Who will play Romeo in 2015? Find out Friday at the Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF)’s 12/12 Holiday Stakeholder’s Party at the Winona County History Center from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. “We’ll have appetizers, a cash bar, and a short presentation that includes a wrap up of the past season and artistic announcements for season 12,” explained GRSF Director of Marketing Emily Kurash, who added that attendees will look forward to special holiday entertainment and some surprise guests. “It’s going to be a festive atmosphere.” Local musician Patti Darbo will provide instrumentals throughout.
This year’s party will mark the first time GRSF has combined the Stakeholder’s Event, which usually occurs in November, and the 12/12 Party that happens every December 12. “It’s going to be a really great time,” Kurash said of the combined free event. “So much of GRSF happens during the spring and summer, so it’s a great time for us to get together with our supporters and fans to talk about the previous season as well as the upcoming season.” In between socializing and enjoying live entertainment, event attendees will also get to witness the unveiling of seasonal artwork by artist Peter Sandker and be part of the first group of people to hear exclusive information regarding season 12. “We haven’t really gotten into the nitty gritty details of designs and casting, but we do have a [few] big, overhead announcements we can make,” Kurash explained. “The casting announcements will definitely be the most exciting.”
For those still in search of the perfect holiday gift for friends and family, Friday’s event will also mark the first time season passes for the upcoming season will be available for purchase, with special early bird pricing at $80 for Season Pass A and $50 for Season Pass B. “All three professional shows will be for the price of two between December 12 and Valentine’s Day,” Kurash said. The three plays for season 12 of GRSF are Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and “Much Ado About Nothing,” as well as Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.”