Page 3 - GRSF 2016 Annual Report
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2016 ANNUAL REPORT From the Artistic Director
It is not dif cult to be a community when things are going well. It is easy to have nuanced, probing conversations when ev-
eryone agrees with each other, but when we encounter challenges, the true value of com- munity is revealed. In adversity, we bene t from the trust that comes from having built a community.
GRSF faced adversity last season publicly when part of our set, the georama, didn’t work. We knew we had taken a risk by producing a new musical that we had helped develop. To tell the story, the georama simply had to work and our community was ready to help. Dave Arnold offered creative engineering over lunch. Board member
Tedd Morgan of Thern spent hours with Sam Michael and his team working to get 600 feet of hand painted canvas moving. Our company volunteered time from every de- partment. Technical Director Megan Morey explained it best:
The entire company has come together to work on solving this problem. The sheer amount of support, offers of re- sources, and complete trust that we are doing everything we can—these are the factors that make me LOVE my job.
So maybe it doesn’t work, and maybe it never will. Maybe we’ll have to resort to Plan B. Or Plan C...D...etc. I can honest- ly say that for most everyone in theater, it is all about the process, not about the  nal product—we all love working for GRSF because the process is entirely col- laborative, creative, and trusting. I HATE feeling like I have to “give up” on the georama, but I LOVE the fact that I was given the opportunity and the support to do so in the  rst place.”
In the end, our artistic community did not allow us to fail. Minnesota Opera had a the- atrical projector, the University of California, Irvine donated the lens we needed, sound designer Matt Tibbs programmed the projec- tions, and, as they say, the show went on.
Behind the scenes we faced adversity
on a deeper level as we said farewell to our managing director, Lee Gundersheimer. We are grateful for Lee’s contributions to GRSF and look forward to the future, guided by the leadership of Aaron Young.
It would have been easier to stick to the tried and true and not attempt a new work. It would have been simpler to stay on the well trod path and avoid confronting the challenges we face, but we cannot create dynamic, compelling theater without taking risks, and we cannot build true community without dealing honestly with the challenges we encounter. We will be a stronger compa- ny for having faced adversity.
In 2016, we experienced the value of
the community we’ve been building for 13 seasons. I am grateful for the artists and staff who work with me, for the donors who support us, for the Friends of Will who give their time, for our board of directors who trust and protect us, and for the patrons who join the conversation. I am proud to be part of the community of Winona and the community of this region.
2017 begins an exciting new chapter for GRSF. I look forward to facing it together.
Doug Scholz-Carlson
Artistic Director
ORIGINAL MOSAIC ARTWORK: 2016 © Barbara Benson (Bebe) Keith

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