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.


Chris Mixon and Brian Frederick in "Love's Labour's Lost" (2009, dir Paul Barnes)

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Our Locations:

Great River Shakespeare Festival Business Office

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

GRSF performs on the campus of Winona State University in the

Performing Arts Center

450 Johnson St., Winona, MN 55987
Box Office opens 90 minutes before curtain.
(507) 474-7900


Auditions & Employment

Work with Us

Cory Allen in Henry V


The Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, Minnesota is the largest professional Equity theatre to open in the Upper Midwest in the last 12 years 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 (in 2015: King John).

 Corey Allen in “King Henry V” (2013)


Sales and Marketing Manager

The Great River Shakespeare Festival seeks qualified candidates for the position of Marketing and Sales Manager.

Applicants should send a cover letter, resume and three professional references to:

Aaron A. Young, Managing Director
Great River Shakespeare Festival
79 East Third Street
Winona, MN 55987

GRSF seeks a diverse pool of applicants and is an equal opportunity employer.


Administrative, production and artistic internships

For information and applications visit:

Intern/Apprentice Project: MacbethApprentice Actor Training Program

For details, application and audition information, visit grsf.org/apprentice

Professional Company Auditions

GRSF will hold General Auditions in Minneapolis as part of the generals at Park Square Theatre’s general auditions in February. Check back for more information. In addition, GRSF will hold season auditions during the summer of 2017 in Winona and via Skype.

GRSF offers both Equity and non-Equity positions for actors. Our Equity contract is LOA based on LORT D. 2017 minimum is $679 per week.

Welcome to the Great River Shakespeare Festival


Seasonal Staff

Year Round Staff

Artistic Director

Doug Scholz-Carlson

Artistic Director


Joseph Millett

Production Manager


Kelley Olson

Director of Development

Valerie Williams

Education Director and Grants Writer


Marketing/Audience Services

Emily Kurash

Director of Sales & Marketing


Connie Dretske

Director of Finance

Front of House

Samantha Heaver

House Manager

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

Quality Manager, Riverside Electronics

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