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GRSF to hold winter party (12/09/2012)
By Emily Buss

Snow has yet to stick to the streets of Winona to mark the start of winter, but at the Great River Shakespeare Festival, producers, directors, actors, and organization workers are already thinking summer.

The upcoming 2013 season is a milestone for the nationally renowned festival as it will celebrate its 10th anniversary in Winona. Still revelling in a benchmark 2012 season, GRSF Director of Sales and Marketing Irene Erkenbrack said the festival is on solid ground.

"When it comes to nonprofits, there are a lot of organizations that go for a few years but fizzle out," Erkenbrack explained. "We feel so happy to still be here and that we ended last season with a budget surplus. We are in a really good position to grapple with the next decade."

GRSF recently revealed the lineup for the 2013 season to eager theater-goers: the history play "King Henry V," and a boisterous rendition of the comedy "Twelfth Night."

"We always try to choose different types of performances, this year it happened to be a comedy and historical piece," Erkenbrack said. "We do have a resident company so they were taken into consideration when choosing the plays. We look ahead to see who is right for what roles. Budget also comes into play."

Erkenbrack said GRSF Artistic and Producing Director Paul Barnes, who is stepping down in July, chose the plays for the upcoming season. Barnes has been with the organization since its inception and said even though he is stepping down, he believes the 10th anniversary year will be the best yet.

“I think the GRSF future is incredibly bright,” he said. “We seem to have inspired and galvanized a community. It’ll take continued commitment from many people on all kinds of levels to build on the astonishing success of our ten years; that’s just the nature of not-for-profit work. But, if the first decade is any indication, the decades ahead are nothing but full of promise.”

To celebrate the upcoming season, mingle with GRSF personnel, and hear more information about the performances and season pass deals, members of the public are invited to the First Annual GRSF Holiday Party, set to take place at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. Live entertainment, delicious appetizers, and a social hour will give attendees the opportunity to join in the excitement.

"This coming year is really going to be a celebratory season, and the fact that we made it to ten years is amazing," Erkenbrack said. "We feel we are in a strong position to dream about the future of GRSF."

The First Annual GRSF Holiday Party will be on Wednesday, December 12, at 4:30 p.m. at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.

For more information, call the GRSF office at (507) 474-7900 or visit the website. http://www.grsf.org 


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