“Callithump!” 2019, featuring the company of Great River Shakespeare Festival. Photo by Sydney Swanson.

GRSF launches virtual Callithump!


Despite having to postpone in-person productions until 2021 due to the COVID crisis, Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) has been able to present virtual programming for free through the summer. This virtual programming will culminate with a ticketed online fundraising event on Sunday, August 9, at 7 p.m.

Hundreds of GRSF fans have tuned in throughout the summer to participate in panel discussions, hear staged readings of new plays, and see the talent of young performers showcased. GRSF launched the free online series, #GRSFEverywhere, on Sunday, June 28, and has seen incredible engagement with the programs in the subsequent weeks.

#GRSFEverywhere will culminate in one ticketed online fundraiser on Sunday, August 9, at 7 p.m. with a virtual “Callithump!” Every year, “Callithump!” serves as the festival’s largest fundraiser, showcasing a wide array of talent from its company members — from comedy number to large ensemble parody songs to tap dancing, this performance is one of the favorite nights of the season. Despite not convening in-person this summer due to the COVID crisis, GRSF company members (past and present) are still collaborating on creating a hilarious and entertaining evening.

Unlike the preceding #GRSFEverywhere events, “Callithump 16 ½” will be ticketed; attendees may purchase their tickets through GRSF’s usual ticketing system at grsf.org/buy-tickets (where they may click on “Callithump 16 ½” to purchase a ticket for $20.20). In addition to pre-recorded and live performances throughout the evening, there will be a silent auction as well. Prizes include a chance to appear as a guest on an episode of “Shakespeare’s Test Kitchen,” a Zoom cocktail hour with Greg Ivan Smith and Michael Fitzpatrick and more!

Great River Shakespeare Festival is a nonprofit, professional equity theater company in Winona whose mission is to enrich people’s lives by creating dynamic, clearly understood productions of Shakespeare and other playwrights who celebrate the spoken word. Programs include an annual play festival, extensive education and community outreach programs, and comprehensive theater training. Its summer season has become a staple in the Winona arts scene since its inception 16 years ago. GRSF’s 17th season in 2021 will feature “The Tempest,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” “Great Expectations,” and “Every Brilliant Thing.” For more information visit grsf.org.


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