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)


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:

Equity and Non-Equity General Auditions

The Great River Shakespeare Festival is holding Equity/Non-Equity general auditions for the 2017 season and beyond in conjunction with Park Square Theatre’s general auditions. Auditionees may also opt to be considered for the 2017 Apprentice Actor Training Program.

Artistic Director Doug Scholz-Carlson will attend all four days of the Park Square Theatre general auditions.

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. The 2017 season will be Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment and An Iliad. The Apprentice/Intern production is Henry VI: The Rise of Richard.

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.

Audition Scheduling

Auditions will be held as part of Park Square Theatre’s General auditions. Visit Park Square Theatre’s listing on MinnesotaPlayList.com for more information.

Important: once you have an audition time from Park Square Theatre, please fill out this form to indicate your interest in being considered for the Great River Shakespeare Festival.

Audition Dates

    • Saturday, March 4th, 9am-6pm
    • Sunday, March 12th, 9am–6pm
  • Non Union Talent
    • Sunday, March 5th, 9am-6pm
    • Saturday March 11th, 9am-6pm

Audition Scheduling

Online appointments only: A link will be posted here and on www.minnesotaplaylist.com and www.parksquaretheatre.org.  Appointments for AEA, EMC, and non AEA affiliated talent will be posted on the following dates:

  • AEA/EMC: Monday, February 13th AT 12:00PM
  • non AEA affiliated talent: Friday, February 17th at 12:00PM

Audition Preparation

  • In addition to the instructions below, please fill out this form to indicate your interest in being considered for the Great River Shakespeare Festival.
  • Please present at least one piece by Shakespeare as part of your three minute audition.
  • From Park Square Theatre: Please prepare one or two contrasting monologues that total no more than three minutes in length. (In order for each actor to be seen, these auditions will be timed. My apologies, but it’s the most respectful way to protect everyone’s time).
  • From Park Square Theatre: Please bring one hard copy of your headshot and resume to your appointment.

Audition Location

Park Square Theatre, Proscenium Sage
Historic Hamm Building, 408 Saint Peter Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102


For questions about the general auditions, please contact Park Square Theatre. For questions relating to Great River Shakespeare Festival, please email auditions@grsf.org. No phone calls please.

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

Emily Kurash

Director of Sales & Marketing


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