The Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) will continue previews performances this week, in anticipation of opening its 15th anniversary season next Friday. The preview performances include “Shakespeare in Love” on Tuesday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. “All’s Well That Ends Well” and “Venus in Fur” will have previews on Wednesday, June 27, at 7:30 p.m. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” has its last preview performance on Thursday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m.
All preview performances at GRSF are pay-what-you-will, a special offering that has been made possible by a grant received from the Rea Charitable Trust. Pay-what-you-will previews drew great success this past weekend with more than double the amount of patrons as previews last season. Many new patrons came to the theater for previews — many of whom had never attended a play before.
Community members who wish to purchase pay-what-you-will tickets are encouraged to reserve them ahead of time over the phone or in person at the Visitor’s Center Box Office at 924 Huff Street by Lake Winona. Patrons will be able to choose what price they wish to pay for their ticket, allowing patrons to choose pricing that suits their family. Pay-what-you-will pricing is not available online, although patrons may purchase regular preview tickets online for $25 each. More information about pay-what-you-will tickets can be found online at grsf.org or by calling 507-474-7900.
Following the previews, the season will open on Friday, June 29, with the regional premiere of “Shakespeare in Love” at 7:30 p.m. followed by an opening night party. On Saturday, June 30, will be the opening of “All’s Well That Ends Well” at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, July 1, will be the opening of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 2 p.m. followed by the opening of “Venus in Fur” at 7 p.m.
Opening weekend also means that Concerts on the Green begin — this year a total of 45 free concerts will be hosted by the festival on the campus of Winona State University. GRSF has previously put on Concerts on the Green on Friday and Saturday evenings, but will this year have a free concert before every play performance, meaning more concerts than ever before.
GRSF is a nonprofit, professional equity theater company in Winona dedicated to dynamic productions of Shakespeare’s plays, extensive education and community outreach programs, and comprehensive theater training. Its production season has become a staple in the Winona arts scene since its inception 15 years ago. GRSF’s 15th anniversary season will feature “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “All’s Well That Ends Well,” “Shakespeare in Love,” and “Venus in Fur.” For more information visit grsf.org.