“The Great River Guys” is an ongoing conversation that the new executive team, Doug Scholz-Carlson (Artistic Director) and Lee Gundersheimer (Managing Director) of the Great River Shakespeare Festival would like to have with the readers of the Winona Post. Sometimes they will be talking to each other, sometimes with special guests, but the aim is to keep local readers up to date on what’s happening culturally and at the Festival. It’s like the radio show Car Talk but about the arts instead of automobiles.
Lee: So thanks to the Post for giving us this chance to talk with their readers and to introduce ourselves, I’m Lee-
Doug: And I’m Doug,
Lee and Doug: And we are the Great River Guys.
Lee: Sound like we are going to start selling gold in the shopping mall-
Doug: Or insurance.
Lee: So as the newest artistic team in town, taking over the helm of the Great River Shakespeare Festival, we just wanted to say thank you to Winona for welcoming us so warmly.
Doug: Yep. I have felt welcome here for ten years now - right from the beginning of the festival when I was a compay member and later Associate Artist.
Lee: And a King last year, I know.
Doug: But you are new to the community Lee, from Duluth I understand, and from what I hear you’ve lost no time and are hitting the ground running.
Lee: Yes, I’ve been here since August and I’ve made it around the lake twice.
Doug: I’m talking about the event you and many others from the community organized and held this last weekend: Live @ The Levee. It was quite an amazing event and folks from all over came to Levee Park to eat, drink, and hear music.
Lee: Yes, it was a lot of fun, and accomplished what we wanted, for complete strangers to have yet another reason to drink together in public. No seriously, our group wants the wonderful park space right along the Mississippi to become our town square, a gathering place- to be enjoyed by as many folks as possible, as often as possible. We want Levee Park to become the place that the entire region uses to have fun!
Doug: I’m sorry I missed it. But as you know, I was performing in a new musical play in St. Paul these last three weeks, or I’d have been there.
Lee: And you gave a great performance Doug, and it was a wonderful musical. I saw it Sunday with a group of us from Winona and we loved it. A whole posse of Winonans came.
Doug: Yes, thanks, it was great fun to see all of you. But we are here to talk about all the exciting things planned right here at home for Season 11 at GRSF. We will be announcing our full slate of all our events and programs Nov. 4th at our Stakeholders event, open to any and all that wish to come, at the beautiful Winona History Center. So save the date!
Lee: And do we have some pretty amazing things in store for Winona this season. It is going to a Festival for the ages. We are also putting together some thrilling events in the fall, winter, and spring seasons leading up to the summer, so stay tuned. GRSF is already some of the most fun you can have in the summer, but we are going to give you many reasons to get carried away all year long as well.
Doug: Nice segue, Lee. You see we have a new phrase here at the Great River Shakespeare Festival, we like to say GRSF, “get carried away.”
Lee: That sounds like we are going tubing.
Doug: Well we are metaphorically speaking. Like floating along the river, we hope that seeing one of our great productions or hearing our music, or attending one of our Front Porch talks will leave you feel like you walking on air. That you will get carried away by the experience.
Lee: In other words carried away in a good way, not like a bird swoops down and flies off with you in its claws.
Doug: Although we do think it often feels like you are flying.
Lee: Just not like a hawk or a vulture has grabbed you.
Doug: No that would be carried OFF, not away.
Doug: So thanks for letting us say hello to you this week, and next week we will update you on all that your favorite Great River company members are doing in the off season.
Lee: And to tell you about all the wonderful new events we have in store for you leading up to the festival. And to comment on this conversation in the Post and around town about arts and tourism and industry.
Doug: We would like to talk about that, since we deal in both areas.
Lee: Until then, go see some some art, music, film, or theater in any of the number of great venues at the Universities and Downtown.
Doug: Yes, Winona is truly now a regional Arts destination. Enjoy it!
Lee and Doug: Get carried away!!!