“Jeff Stevenson has worked tirelessly to provide GRSF with steadfast management,” according to Morgan. “He has helped guide the Festival through the last six years and also helped position GRSF for it’s next phase of growth. We will miss Jeff, but support his decision.”
Bunge, who co-founded the Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro in 1988 and led the organization until December, 2010, will join the Festival as Managing Director July 18. In addition to helping establish a successful and well-respected regional theatre in a rural town of less than 800 residents in southeastern Minnesota, Bunge was instrumental in the design, fundraising, and construction of the Commonweal’s new home, which opened in 2007. Among many leadership initiatives, Bunge envisioned and guided Commonweal’s groundbreaking “Million Dollar Club” annual fundraising program, the theatre’s Ibsen Festival and Apprentice program, and was chief architect of the Commonweal’s 10-year strategic plan. In addition to leading the Commonweal, Bunge has worked and advocated for the development of Lanesboro and the surrounding region as a premier arts, culture, and wellness destination.
“I’ve known Eric since I directed at the Commonweal in 2000,” according to Barnes. “It’s rare to find someone of Eric’s theatre management background and experience outside a major metropolitan area. I look forward to working with Eric in the coming years as the Festival deepens its roots in Winona and throughout the region.”