By GRSF’s Lee Gundersheimer and Doug Scholz-Carlson
Doug: I am so excited. Sunday we wrapped up our season.
Lee: That is exciting?
Doug: No, that is always upsetting, we hate to have our closing ceremony. We hate to say goodbye to all the theater artists who join us from across the country for the summer, but we are thrilled to spread the news that this was a season to celebrate!
Lee: It certainly was one amazing six weeks. We heard from audiences and critics how much they loved the productions. One of our reviewers said: “If you’re anywhere near Winona, Minnesota — by which I mean within a roughly three hundred mile radius — it is completely worth heading to The Great River Shakespeare Festival. Go there. Go there now.”
Doug: And our good friend Emily Kurash our marketing director is here to give even more exciting news.
Emily: Hello, gentlemen. I just wanted to say that not only did audiences come out in record numbers but they supported us so wonderfully in ticket sales and purchases during the shows. This summer had the second highest attendance in the history of GRSF. The only period where more people attended was 2012 when the season was one week longer. We also met our very aggressive totals for ticket revenue and special events. We are so grateful for the support — thank you to our all those who came out to get carried away!
Will: And Emily,
Emily: Yes, Will. Not Will Shakespeare, this is Will Kitchen, our development director.
Will: I just wanted to say that we also had an ambitious goal of 450 new and returning sponsors during the festival, one for each year since Shakespeare was born. By closing night we had 458! We did it. Thanks to the generosity of our patrons, the 450 Campaign was a success. We still have some important fundraising to do to meet our annual goals, but we have successfully begun to broaden our base of support. We could not be happier to have so many new partners, many of them who have become sustaining sponsors of the festival.
Doug: That is wonderful news, Emily and Will and we’d like to finish by telling all of our friends about next season’s plans.
Lee: We will announce casting and directors at our Stakeholder’s Meeting this fall, but Doug announced the professional company production season from the stage on Sunday.
Doug: Just in case you missed our announcement on Sunday, we are going to talk about love next season.
Lee: Hey, maybe we should call it The GRSF Season of Love? Or the Summer of Love?
Doug: I think that slogan might already be taken. All three plays are wonderful explorations of passion and relationships, and the power of romantic love: First, we will do “Much Ado About Nothing.” It is a beautifully imperfect play and one of my personal favorites. Next up will be “Romeo and Juliet,” Shakespeare’s tragedy of passionate, young, star-crossed lovers. Finally, we are going to produce a modern masterpiece that explores expectations and disappointment in love, a play that uses language with a uniquely American voice, Tennessee William’s “The Glass Menagerie.”
Lee: How is that for a blockbuster season? So get your tickets now!
Doug: Lee, calm down, we just ended our last season. Tickets will go on sale later this winter, as always.
Lee: You’re right. I am just so excited to see these plays.
Doug: And we are so thrilled to present them. Thank you Winona and the entire region for a great Season 11!
Lee: And fasten your seat belts, Season 12 is going to be here before you know it! But until then, we have a year’s worth of special events and off-season fun to look forward to. Stay tuned!