About Us

The Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) is a nonprofit, professional Equity theatre company in Winona, MN, dedicated to dynamic productions of Shakespeare’s plays, extensive education and community outreach programs, and comprehensive theatre training.

Auditions & Employment

Work with Us

Cory Allen in Henry V


The Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, Minnesota is the Minnesota’s largest professional Equity theater outside of the Twin Cities and has enjoyed unprecedented success since its 2004 inaugural season. Employing nearly 100 people at the peak of the season, GRSF presents its six-week long season of rotating repertory from late June to the end of July in the 400-seat mainstage theatre on campus at Winona State University.

In addition to its professional company and staff, GRSF offers internship and apprenticeships to aspiring theatre technicians, administrators, and actors, and annually recruits its interns and apprentices from college and university theatre training programs across the country. The intern/apprentice program experience culminates with performances of a studio theatre production of a play by Shakespeare.

 Corey Allen in “King Henry V” (2013)

Young Performers needed for the 2017 Season

Join us on stage

GRSF needs young men and women age 9 through 17 to perform in the professional company productions this summer.

  • Comedy of Errors – two young women who can sing and dance
  • Richard III – two young people to play the young princes
  • Shipwrecked! An Entertainment – 1 young person to serve as on stage help in rehearsal and performance.

Auditions are 5:30 pm on Friday, March 17 at Winona Senior High School. This is a commitment from May 9th  to July 30th. Download the the description for more information.

Equity and Non-Equity General Auditions

The Great River Shakespeare Festival completed 4 days of Equity/Non-Equity general auditions for the 2017 season and beyond in conjunction with Park Square Theatre’s general auditions in March, 2017. Auditioners could also opt to be considered for the 2017 Apprentice Actor Training Program.

Check back for updates about general auditions during the summer season in Winona and general auditions in Minneapolis/St. Paul in March of 2018.

Ana Marcu, Tarah Flanagan, Stephanie Lambourn, Rob Hancock, Jucoby Johnson, Mark Murphey and Caroline Amos in “As You Like It” (2016, dir. Doug Scholz-Carlson, photo Dan Norman)

About the Great River Shakespeare Festival

The Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) in Winona, Minnesota is Minnesota’s largest professional Equity theater outside of the Twin Cities. A professional acting company of 16 actors plus 90 designers, directors, technicians, apprentices and other staff come from around the country to present four productions in repertory, education programs, concerts and other events over a 6 week summer season on the campus of Winona State University. Entering its 14th season, GRSF has gained a national reputation for clearly spoken, dynamic, accessible productions of Shakespeare’s plays as well as musicals and modern classics.

Equity contracts are under a letter of agreement (LOA) based on LORT D. Minimum Equity salary for 2017 is $679/wk.  The 2017 company will be 8 Equity, 6 non-Equity and 2 intern contracts. In addition, the Apprentice Actor Training Program will bring 14 early career professional actors from training programs across the country to study with the company. (GRSF.org/apprentice) Dates for the 2017 season are: first rehearsal May 9, first opening June 23, season closes July 30. All contracts include housing and require residence in Winona, Minnesota for the 12 weeks of the season.


Administrative, production and artistic internships

For information and applications visit:

Welcome to the Great River Shakespeare Festival


Seasonal Staff

Year Round Staff

Artistic Director

Doug Scholz-Carlson

Artistic Director

Managing Director

Aaron Young

(507) 474-7900

Production Manager

Joseph Millett

Production Manager


Kelley Olson

Director of Development

Valerie Williams

Education Director and Grants Writer

Marketing/Audience Services

Eileen Moeller

Marketing & Sales Manager


Connie Dretske

Director of Finance

Board of Directors



Fran Edstrom, Interim Chair

Winona Post (retired)

David Marshall, Vice Chair

Professor Emeritus, University of North Dakota

Mary Bergin, Treasurer

Vice President, Knitcraft Corporation
Winona, MN

Kathleen Peterson, Secretary

Arts Administrator, Winona State University

Tedd Morgan, Past Board Chair

President, Thern, Inc.


Hamid Akbari

Dean of College of Business, Winona State University

Mary Alice Anderson

Retired: Media Specialist for Winona Public Schools

Roderick Baker

Sr. Lean Specialist, Winona Health

Candace Gordon

Realtor, Broker, Exit Realty

Margaret Shaw Johnson

Retired: District Court Judge

Directors (Continued)

Larry Jost

Retired: Partner, Quarles and Brady, LLP (retired)

Ann Merchlewitz

Executive Vice President and General Counsel, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota

Jeanne Skattum

Rochester Repertory Theater

Mike Slaggie

President, Slaggie Capital Group

LeRoy Telstad

General Manager and Vice President, Coca Cola, Winona

Jim Vrchota

Commercial Ag Banker, Merchants National Bank

Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you.

507 474 7900

79 East Third Street, Winona, MN


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Our Location:

GRSF performs on the campus of Winona State University

Performing Arts Center

450 Johnson St., Winona, MN 55987

Box Office opens 90 minutes before curtain.

Great River Shakespeare Festival Business Office

79 East Third St., Winona, MN 55987
(507) 474-7900
Hours: Monday-Friday | 9 am – 5 pm
(507) 474-7900