Training & Employment Opportunities

Welcome to the Great River Shakespeare Festival

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 early August in the 460-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.

Equity and Non-Equity 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)

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 (see “Acting Apprentices” tab on the left).

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

Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply & audition. GRSF uses gender- and race-blind casting.


Working with 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 was $679/wk.  The 2017 company was 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 2018 season are: first rehearsal May 8, first preview is June 22, season closes August 5. All contracts include housing and require residence in Winona, Minnesota for the duration of the season. Equity information for 2018 will be updated when it is available.

 

GRSF Apprentice Actor Program

Apply Now.

Click “Apply Now” to fill out the application and schedule an audition.

Learn.

The Great River Shakespeare Festival is well known for its commitment to clearly-spoken, thoughtfully developed, classical work. We want our plays to resonate profoundly with a modern audience, but creating dynamic classics requires mastery of stylized text. GRSF is committed to giving our apprentices the skills that will make them stand out in the classical arena – skills that will unlock Shakespeare’s canon, open doors to future rehearsal rooms and  inspire the creation of their own work.

Risk.

Apprentices perform their understudy roles in a condensed version of Richard III, 2017

The apprentice program at GRSF is founded in ensemble training: valuing bold choices and confident artists who can bring their hearts, brains and guts into the rehearsal room.

This type of engagement requires collegiality – an environment that supports the individual artist, and empowers the collective.

At GRSF, that environment is created by a community of artists and audiences. The people you meet during your summer at GRSF, both your fellow apprentices and the artists you shadow on the mainstage, will be colleagues for the rest of your career.

Grow.

Christian Wilson, Mitchell Holsclaw in Henry VI: The Rise of Richard, 2017

Moving from an educational space to the professional arena is challenging.

The professional training program at GRSF is designed to further your artistic development and skills, but we also want to foster your ability to apply those skills. We keep our eye on product and practical process. Those in the program will apprentice professionals through their experience as understudies.

By following one member of the professional company from beginning to end of the rehearsal process, apprentices have the opportunity to observe how an experienced actor handles the challenges of working on Shakespeare in a professional setting. Apprentices then apply what they have learned to their own fully-staged production in The Apprentice Project.

Pursue.

We want to leave apprentices with the skills and resources to audition and perform anywhere in the professional world, empowering them long after they have left the GRSF apprentice program. Throughout the summer, apprentices will participate in master classes focused on the challenges of pursuing a career in the arts, develop goals and receive training  specific to their individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as audition for freelance directors, casting agents and other professional companies.

Auditions

Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply & audition. GRSF uses gender- and race-blind casting.

In-Person Auditions
To apply, please fill out the application below and find an audition in your area.
  • ACTF Region 5 Professional auditions – 1/23
  • University of Minnesota, Guthrie – 2/18
  • Stella Adler NYC – 2/4
  • NYC General Auditions – early February Date TBD
  • University of Evansville – 2/12
  • Webster University – 2/11
  • University of Tennessee Knoxville – 2/9
  • St. Olaf College – 3/1
  • University of Illinois – Champaign/Urbana – 4/13
Please check back as additional schools will be added over the coming weeks.
Video Auditions (via Skype)
  • January 27th
  • February 17th
  • March 24th
Those auditioning should prepare two contrasting Shakespeare monologues, at least one in verse, totaling no more that 5 minutes in combined length.

2017 Intern/Apprentice Production - Henry VI: The Rise of Richard

Apply Now.

Click “Apply Now” to fill out the application and schedule an audition.

FAQ’s

What qualifications do I need to be an apprentice?

The program is geared towards rising and graduating seniors, MFA students in their first or second year, and young professionals seeking to sharpen their facility with Shakespeare.
Apprentices should possess a keen interest in classical theatre, regardless of their actual experience with Shakespeare. Collaboration is a fundamental component of GRSF  – apprentices should be interested in developing as part of an ensemble and come to the program with clear goals for their artistic or professional development. We seek out intelligent students who work hard, play nice, and are willing to take big risks in the classroom, the rehearsal hall and onstage. We want students who are invested in their own growth, who are looking for a challenge.

What is the time commitment?

Apprentices are expected to start on May 8th and participate in the season through strike on August 6th. Please bring up any conflicts in your application or interview, as we may be able to accommodate them, if we know about them in advance.

How much does the Apprentice Program cost?

Tuition for the 13 week program is $1750, which includes housing. Scholarships are available.

Will I be on a run crew?

No! The primary reason you’re at GRSF is to act and develop your professional theater career. There are two short weeks in the middle of the summer (around tech week) where you’ll work in the shops, as well as observe the show you’re understudying. Other than that, you’ll be focused on acting.

Technical and Administrative Internships

Connect.

At the Great River Shakespeare Festival, interns learn from nationally known, professional theater artists. The people you work with every day can be the beginning of your professional network and important connections to graduate programs and further training.

Technical Director Megan Morey works with scenic interns.

Learn.

In addition to hands on experience in a professional shop, experienced artists at GRSF offer interns workshops. In 2015, workshops included practical skills like molding, casting, rigging & knots and welding as well as soft skills young professionals need to move a career forward like looking at and applying to grad schools and URTA, creating a winning resume and portfolio, navigating interdepartmental communication, applying for jobs and writing cover letters.

Assistant Technical Director Rachel Lann works in the Scene Shop

Engage.

At GRSF, we believe that part of becoming a great artist is becoming a great person. We are a company of artists, and we are part of a community. We value respect, empathy and compassion every bit as much as we value excellence, authenticity and innovation.

We all grow as artists by working with other great artists. We are currently in the process of hiring for 2018. Here are the professional theater artists you would have worked alongside in 2017.

Internships Available in All Areas!

Click on the drop-downs to learn more about internships available in all areas of the theater.

Company Management

The company manager of a theatre entails all the day-to-day needs of the acting, design, and technical company members. At GRSF it includes being the liaison with WSU for housing, booking airline tickets and arranging rides from the airport, orchestrating furnishings, and dealing with any special needs and requests. You could also be asked to help with party planning, tech meals, mail delivery, chauffeuring, and being on-call when the company manager is unavailable. We also work very closing with a volunteer organization named Friends of Will who helps up with these various needs. In order to succeed your skill sets should include: working well with other, self-motivation, skilled communicator, and organized. You need to be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and able to spot and solve problems quickly.

Scenic

Scenic Interns:

Scenic Interns assist with the construction, load-in, and change-over for all scenery. Our interns work alongside professional carpenters, under the direction of a Technical Director and Assistant Technical Director, to create innovative and unique scenic elements. In addition to developing technical skills in carpentry, welding, and rigging, Scenic Interns have the first-hand opportunity to see how a professional design becomes fully realized in a short amount of time. Past interns have gone on to work professionally at well-known companies such as the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Glimmerglass Festival.

Candidates for Scenic Internships should have a basic familiarity with all standard hand and power tools, a working knowledge of reading drawings, and a drive to learn in a fast-paced hands-on setting. Previous experience in welding and rigging is always preferred, but not a requirement. Though the primary focus of this internship is construction-based, there are occasional opportunities in paints dependent upon the needs of the season.

Testimonials from former Scenic Interns:

“I worked for GRSF as a Scenic Intern during Season 11 in 2014. I would highly encourage anyone looking to work professionally in theatre to apply for this company. Whether you are just starting to get your feet wet, about to finish college, pursuing further education, or maybe still figuring it out, GRSF would be the perfect fit for you.

While working as an intern for the company, you will be treated and valued as an equal among the various theatre professionals sharing their time with you in Winona for the summer. Your coworkers, supervisors, fellow designers, and company members will value you regardless of your experience. They will encourage you to push yourself to try new things, step outside of your comfort zone, and be successful while doing it.

GRSF offers workshops in welding, resume building, as well as casting and molding, and much more. You will also get a chance to design and work on the Intern Apprentice Project near the end of the season with whichever area you choose. I served as a TD/ Paint Charge on Troilus and Cressida.

If there’s one thing that I take away from my experience at GRSF, it would be this; this is one of the most unique theatre companies out there, combining the small town charm of Winona with the professional theatre influence of the entire country. The collaborative environment makes anyone working here feel welcome as if they have been there for years. I was able become not only a better carpenter, but also a better person because of the incredible influence of Winona.
Welcome, and Good luck!”

Robert “Robby Bobby” Boinski is currently working as a Scenic Carpenter and Event Technician for a major production company. Since his time at GRSF he has also worked at the Utah Shakespeare Festival for 2 seasons as a Master Carpenter.

“GRSF provides an excellent introduction into the world of high end theater. GRSF is a springboard into opportunities and professional connections all around the country. I still keep in contact with many of the coworkers and friends I made those 2 summers.”

Libby Stone is about to start at the Yale Repertory Theater as one of their Master Carpenters. Since her time at GRSF, she has worked at the Utah Shakespeare Festival as a Master Carpenter, as well as at other seasonal theaters such as Glimmerglass Festival.

Lighting

Lighting internship.

Lighting Interns assist with the hang, focus, and change-over for all lighting and well as repair and maintenance of all lighting equipment. Our interns work alongside a professional master electrician and a professional designer to create innovative and unique lighting for all professional company productions. In addition to developing technical skills, Lighting Interns have the first-hand opportunity to see how a professional design becomes fully realized in a short amount of time.

Candidates for Lighting Internships should experience in electrics and a drive to learn in a fast-paced hands-on setting. While most of the work is technical, there are design opportunities for the Intern/Apprentice Production available.

Avery Regan (Lighting Intern, 2016) had this to say to future interns:

To the Future Intern at the Great River Shakespeare Festival,

My name is Avery Reagan, and I served as one of the two Lighting Interns with the Great River Shakespeare Festival during their 13th Season in the Summer of 2016. First off, let me congratulate you for choosing to apply to such a wonderful company. GRSF is truly one of the greatest theatre establishments I had the pleasure of working with so early in my career.

I’m writing to inform you about the process and expectations you will have as an Intern. The GRSF is built upon hard work, long hours, and high standards for theatre. I will not sugarcoat the reality of all the work you will put in throughout the summer. Once you arrive in early May, you work all summer until you move out in August. Be expected to show up early and be held accountable (with donuts) if you’re late. If you choose to participate in the Apprentice/Intern Production later in the season, be expected to work after your normal work schedule. It is not unheard of to work a full day with the mainstage productions and then work several hours on your own production.

Coffee is available, don’t worry.

It should be known that you are an intern and not a professional technician or designer. You will be held to high standards, but not impossible ones. This company encourages education amongst its members. If they wanted to hire professionals to do the work, they would have. While working in the various shops early in the summer, you will undoubtedly be asked to do something you’ve never done before. You will never be asked to do something you’re not comfortable with, but I encourage you to ask questions and learn something new if and when that situation presents itself to you.

Take advantage of every opportunity presented before you throughout the summer. The GRSF provides you with workshops, tutorials, and hands-on experiences to better your skills in the theatre. Basically, be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as you can. There are other members in the festival besides interns. The company is full of professional technicians, designers, actors, directors, managers, and artistic geniuses who have been working in the industry for some time. They know what they’re talking about. Befriend them and listen to what they have to say.

I would highly encourage you to participate in the Intern/Apprentice Production. This was probably my favorite part of the whole festival. The production is viewed similarly to that of a mainstage production. You will be given a small budget, small inventory items, scheduled deadlines, and weekly production meetings. Some Interns choose to work in a different field than what they were hired (ie. a Costume Intern wants to work as the Scenic Designer), and some choose to try something different in their own field (ie. a Lighting Designer would like to be the Master Electrician). I served as the Lighting Designer for Coriolanus and was mentored by the Festival’s Head Lighting Designer, Lonnie Alcaraz. No matter what field you will be working in during the festival, take the time to get to know the designers. And if one of them offers to mentor you throughout the Intern/Apprentice Production, you take that offer. You can thank me later.

If I could pick one piece of advice I gained from the process of designing Coriolanus, it would be to remain positive and be creative with your inventory. It is easy to look at the size of the budget or the quality of materials you’ll have to work with and immediately think about all the design ideas you can’t do, but I encourage you to look at your inventory and view the possibilities of what you can do. You will be surprised to learn that you won’t end up sacrificing much of your original design.

In my opinion, the Great River Shakespeare Festival is one of the greatest Summer Repertory Theatre Festivals in the Midwest. They respect their workers’ time, they encourage you to stretch yourself and try new things, they support you when work can become stressful, and they go above and beyond to make sure you are gaining something from your experience. Be prepared to work. I promise your payoff will be sweet.

Welcome to the GRSF Family,

Avery Reagan

Props

Props internship.

Props interns work with a professional props director and a props artisan to create props for the professional company productions. The props team uses wide range of skills from sewing, welding and carpentry to painting, sculpting and molding as well as a great deal of research and design. As an intern, you will be encouraged to learn new skills even as you work in a fast-paced professional shop. The props intern also works on the run crew for the professional productions during the summer.

Candidates should have experience in props or scenery and a desire to learn in a hands-on environment. While most of the work is technical, there are design opportunities for the Apprentice/Intern Production.

Costumes

Costume Internship.

Costume interns work directly with professional costume designers as well as professional drapers, stitchers and a craft artisan to assist in all areas of costume construction and work on the wardrobe crew during the run of the professional productions. The internship provides an opportunity to learn new skills and to improve and practice the techniques that will allow you to thrive in a professional costume shop. Candidates should have strong sewing skills and a desire to learn in a hands-on environment.

While most of the work is directing involved with costume construction and maintenance, there are design opportunities for the Apprentice/Intern Production.

In the summer of 2016, season 13 of GRSF, I was a costume intern. I not only got hired for a great internship, I found a supportive, creative family of wildly talented individuals. Many of my good friends and my older brother had worked with Great River Shakespeare Festival, and they had nothing but exclamations of joy and gratitude for being a part of such a wonderful, involved group of artists. I couldn’t wait to apply for a job myself. Once hired, I found that all of the exclamations of excitement I had heard did not serve to encompass the joy I felt in my own experience. It was a summer of magic. The professional experience I gained was astounding. I not only learned how to be a professional in the costume industry, I learned how to be an artist in the theatre. The network of friends I made, I still call my family. The scenery was gorgeous. And the experience was like none other. I loved it so much that I came back to Great River Shakespeare Festival,for a second season as the Wardrobe Supervisor. I couldn’t imagine my summer being spent anywhere else. I’m from Texas, and I go to school in Indiana, I think there is a lot to be said about a Shakespeare Festival in Winona, Minnesota that attracts artists from all over the country.

Hilary Rubio, Costume Intern

Sound

Sound internship.

The sound intern works closely with the professional sound designer to install the sound system for the production season. The intern becomes the playback operator for the season. This position requires an individual who is hardworking, punctual, able to take directions, and able to work independently. The following areas of knowledge/experience are preferred: Qlab programming and playback, Pro Tools or Logic, dressing/operating wireless microphones, signal flow, and communications (Clear-Com, Telex, etc) operation/troubleshooting.

In addition to hands-on technical work, there is an opportunity for sound design for the Intern/Apprentice Production.

Video

Video interns assist on all aspects of video production at GRSF which extend far beyond the archival and documentary recording done at all theaters. Working under the guidance of experienced professionals from our company like Christopher Gerson (Darwin: The Series) and Benjamin Boucvalt GRSF’s video team has created a YouTube channel with over 300,000 views. Promotional videos include trailers as well as creative projects such as the Real Housewives of Shakespeare and Dumb Ways to Die in Shakespeare. On Facebook, The Great Shakespearean Bakeoff got more than 85,000 views in the final 3 weeks of the 2017 season. Video interns also help with photography, graphic design and social media.

There are two video interns, one paid and the other unpaid. Interns often progress from the unpaid to the paid position or to other positions within the festival. Candidates need to have experience shooting and editing video. Familiarity with Adobe Premier is a big plus, and experience with Final Cut Pro is also helpful.

As a video intern, I split my time between editing at the desk and on the ground shooting and producing marketing videos for the Festival. I worked alongside a mentor who still gives me advice today, a dear friend. The Festival truly respects each other and our individual crafts. The company’s way of collaboration has remained with me and is applied on every creative project I produce.

Aaron Johnson, video intern

Box Office/Audience Services

The Box Office staff members are an integral part of the Administration Team, and work closely with the Marketing & Sales Manager to successfully sell tickets and Season Passes to patrons of the festival. Box Office staff members are often the first line of interaction a patron has with the festival, and so are vital to its success. Box Office staff will have the opportunity not only to learn and successfully utilize customer service management software, but also participate in specialized workshops focused on expanding their knowledge of arts administration from marketing to development to finance.  Customer service and retail experience is extremely helpful, but not required.

This internship offers valuable learning opportunities to work closely with festival administrative staff as well as other departments within the theater.

Marketing

The Marketing Intern assists the Marketing and Sales Manager with content creation, sales campaigns, and materials distribution throughout the GRSF season. The Marketing Intern is often entrusted with taking over the festival social media content during the height of the season, and being on-site during events to post or go live when necessary. They will be trained in other administrative duties alongside fellow administrative interns, as well as work closely with the Video Team to create exciting new content for the festival. Successful Marketing Interns are independent self-starters with excellent writing skills, familiarity with Adobe Creative programs, outgoing, and willing to collaborate with other company members.

This internship offers valuable learning opportunities to work closely with festival administrative staff as well as other departments within the theater. The Marketing Intern will also lead the marketing campaign for the Intern/Apprentice Production.

Stage Management

Stage management internship.

Stage management interns work as assistant stage managers alongside professional Equity and non-Equity stage managers on the professional company productions. They participate in all rehearsals and meetings and help to run the complicated scheduling of a rep company giving them the opportunity to learn from an experienced stage manager in a professional environment. During the run of the productions, interns serve as the ASMs on the deck.

Intern stage managers also have the opportunity to take the lead as stage managers for the Intern/Apprentice Production where they apply what they have learned in the internship to running their own room with the same professional standards. Some GRSF stage managers have returned to the company and professional Equity and non-Equity stage managers.

Directing

Directing interns assist in the rehearsal hall as needed by the director for each production. Responsibilities include note taking, research and text work. This is largely an observational internship which gives young directors the opportunity to watch experienced professional actors, designers and directors move through an entire rehearsal process and into performance.

Assistant directors develop and present our Pre-show Conversations which give audiences an introduction to the play a half hour before every performance. ADs may also help with understudy work, help create and rehearse our free outdoor, bar and Facebook Live performances, assist in setting up and running season auditions, help develop playbill, website and other educational material about each production, and other duties as they arise in the course of the season.

Dramaturgy/Text Coach

Dramaturgy/Text Coach internship.

Intern dramaturgs and text coaches are unpaid internships that allow students to work alongside professional text coaches, directors and actors. Responsibilities are determined by the needs of the production. Please inquire for further information.

Education

Education internship.

Great River Shakespeare Festival provides a full range of education programming 3rd grade – adult (grsf.org/learn-with- us). The education intern will be a member of the programmatic design team comprised of equity and non-equity actors and arts educators. Have great games and exercises that work for you? Be ready to share those games you know students love and glean a treasure trove of new games for your toolkit while working with your colleagues and mentors.

In addition, the education intern will receive mentoring of curriculum creation, lesson planning and assessment materials; training in classroom and behavioral management and participate in the coordination of community events including pre-show discussions and concerts. Hands-on instructional opportunities are available commensurate with experience and comfort level.

The Director of Education will meet with you at the beginning of the summer to assess current skillsets and set education goals for the summer. Candidates must possess a strong passion for teaching, learning and growing in a fast-paced, hands-on environment.

FAQ’s

What do former interns say about the program?

We can’t speak for everyone, but here is what a few interns had to say about their experience as an intern at GRSF:

“I worked for GRSF as a Scenic Intern during Season 11 in 2014. I would highly encourage anyone looking to work professionally in theatre to apply for this company. Whether you are just starting to get your feet wet, about to finish college, pursuing further education, or maybe still figuring it out, GRSF would be the perfect fit for you.

While working as an intern for the company, you will be treated and valued as an equal among the various theatre professionals sharing their time with you in Winona for the summer. Your coworkers, supervisors, fellow designers, and company members will value you regardless of your experience. They will encourage you to push yourself to try new things, step outside of your comfort zone, and be successful while doing it.

GRSF offers workshops in welding, resume building, as well as casting and molding, and much more. You will also get a chance to design and work on the Intern Apprentice Project near the end of the season with whichever area you choose. I served as a TD/ Paint Charge on Troilus and Cressida.

If there’s one thing that I take away from my experience at GRSF, it would be this; this is one of the most unique theatre companies out there, combining the small town charm of Winona with the professional theatre influence of the entire country. The collaborative environment makes anyone working here feel welcome as if they have been there for years. I was able become not only a better carpenter, but also a better person because of the incredible influence of Winona.

Welcome, and Good luck!”

Robert “Robby Bobby” Boinski is currently working as a Scenic Carpenter and Event Technician for a major production company. Since his time at GRSF he has also worked at the Utah Shakespeare Festival for 2 seasons as a Master Carpenter.

Avery Regan (Lighting Intern, 2016) had this to say to future interns:

To the Future Intern at the Great River Shakespeare Festival,

My name is Avery Reagan, and I served as one of the two Lighting Interns with the Great River Shakespeare Festival during their 13th Season in the Summer of 2016. First off, let me congratulate you for choosing to apply to such a wonderful company. GRSF is truly one of the greatest theatre establishments I had the pleasure of working with so early in my career.

I’m writing to inform you about the process and expectations you will have as an Intern. The GRSF is built upon hard work, long hours, and high standards for theatre. I will not sugarcoat the reality of all the work you will put in throughout the summer. Once you arrive in early May, you work all summer until you move out in August. Be expected to show up early and be held accountable (with donuts) if you’re late. If you choose to participate in the Apprentice/Intern Production later in the season, be expected to work after your normal work schedule. It is not unheard of to work a full day with the mainstage productions and then work several hours on your own production.

Coffee is available, don’t worry.

It should be known that you are an intern and not a professional technician or designer. You will be held to high standards, but not impossible ones. This company encourages education amongst its members. If they wanted to hire professionals to do the work, they would have. While working in the various shops early in the summer, you will undoubtedly be asked to do something you’ve never done before. You will never be asked to do something you’re not comfortable with, but I encourage you to ask questions and learn something new if and when that situation presents itself to you.

Take advantage of every opportunity presented before you throughout the summer. The GRSF provides you with workshops, tutorials, and hands-on experiences to better your skills in the theatre. Basically, be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as you can. There are other members in the festival besides interns. The company is full of professional technicians, designers, actors, directors, managers, and artistic geniuses who have been working in the industry for some time. They know what they’re talking about. Befriend them and listen to what they have to say.

I would highly encourage you to participate in the Intern/Apprentice Production. This was probably my favorite part of the whole festival. The production is viewed similarly to that of a mainstage production. You will be given a small budget, small inventory items, scheduled deadlines, and weekly production meetings. Some Interns choose to work in a different field than what they were hired (ie. a Costume Intern wants to work as the Scenic Designer), and some choose to try something different in their own field (ie. a Lighting Designer would like to be the Master Electrician). I served as the Lighting Designer for Coriolanus and was mentored by the Festival’s Head Lighting Designer, Lonnie Alcaraz. No matter what field you will be working in during the festival, take the time to get to know the designers. And if one of them offers to mentor you throughout the Intern/Apprentice Production, you take that offer. You can thank me later.

If I could pick one piece of advice I gained from the process of designing Coriolanus, it would be to remain positive and be creative with your inventory. It is easy to look at the size of the budget or the quality of materials you’ll have to work with and immediately think about all the design ideas you can’t do, but I encourage you to look at your inventory and view the possibilities of what you can do. You will be surprised to learn that you won’t end up sacrificing much of your original design.

In my opinion, the Great River Shakespeare Festival is one of the greatest Summer Repertory Theatre Festivals in the Midwest. They respect their workers’ time, they encourage you to stretch yourself and try new things, they support you when work can become stressful, and they go above and beyond to make sure you are gaining something from your experience. Be prepared to work. I promise your payoff will be sweet.

Welcome to the GRSF Family,

Avery Reagan

“GRSF provides an excellent introduction into the world of high end theater. GRSF is a springboard into opportunities and professional connections all around the country. I still keep in contact with many of the coworkers and friends I made those 2 summers.”

Libby Stone is about to start at the Yale Repertory Theater as one of their Master Carpenters. Since her time at GRSF, she has worked at the Utah Shakespeare Festival as a Master Carpenter, as well as at other seasonal theaters such as Glimmerglass Festival.

As a video intern, I split my time between editing at the desk and on the ground shooting and producing marketing videos for the Festival. I worked alongside a mentor who still gives me advice today, a dear friend. The Festival truly respects each other and our individual crafts. The company’s way of collaboration has remained with me and is applied on every creative project I produce.

Aaron Johnson, video intern

In the summer of 2016, season 13 of GRSF, I was a costume intern. I not only got hired for a great internship, I found a supportive, creative family of wildly talented individuals. Many of my good friends and my older brother had worked with Great River Shakespeare Festival, and they had nothing but exclamations of joy and gratitude for being a part of such a wonderful, involved group of artists. I couldn’t wait to apply for a job myself. Once hired, I found that all of the exclamations of excitement I had heard did not serve to encompass the joy I felt in my own experience. It was a summer of magic. The professional experience I gained was astounding. I not only learned how to be a professional in the costume industry, I learned how to be an artist in the theatre. The network of friends I made, I still call my family. The scenery was gorgeous. And the experience was like none other. I loved it so much that I came back to Great River Shakespeare Festival,for a second season as the Wardrobe Supervisor. I couldn’t imagine my summer being spent anywhere else. I’m from Texas, and I go to school in Indiana, I think there is a lot to be said about a Shakespeare Festival in Winona, Minnesota that attracts artists from all over the country.

Hilary Rubio, Costume Intern

What does an intern do?

Interns support the festival through their hands-on work in various roles, including carpenters, stitchers, electricians, videographers, assistant stage managers, etc.  This includes work in the shops as well as supporting the productions as run and changeover crews in performance. Interns also have the opportunity to design and build the Apprentice/Intern Production.

Through this experience working alongside professionals in each area, our interns gain valuable skills and insight into the professional world.

What qualifications do I need?

Generally interns are expected to have a basic level of skill/knowledge in their area prior to starting at GRSF.  This might include, for example, a basic knowledge of materials and an ability to use standard tools (table saw, miter saw) for Scenic Interns, or a basic ability to sew both by hand and with machine for Costume Interns.

In general, interns will be working at a college or graduate level in their area and have the intention of becoming a professional theater artist.

What is the time commitment?

Interns are expected to start on May 8th or 9th (dependent upon area).  Most contracts finish upon completion of Strike, August 2nd; please contact us if you have specific questions.  If conflicts during the summer arise, we are usually able to accommodate for short absences; if conflicts are known about in advance, please do bring it up in your application or in an interview, as we will often be able to accommodate in advance.

Internships are a full time commitment with regular days off during the employment period.

What is the pay?

Internships are unpaid. However, interns receive a $175/week allowance for expenses.  Housing is provided – each intern will have a single bedroom in a 4-person suite, in which they share a living room/kitchen (between 4 people) and a bathroom (between 2 people).  Internet and cable are provided – you must provide your own computer/TV/cables/etc.  All other standard items such as linens, pots and pans, dishes, etc., are also provided.  Travel is arranged and paid for by the intern.

 

Are there other learning opportunities available?

2016 Intern/Apprentice Company production: Coriolanus
2016 Intern/Apprentice Company production: Coriolanus

Interns also have the opportunity at various times throughout the summer to participate in workshops led by professionals within the company. Workshop topics are determined at the beginning of the season, dependent upon the interests of the interns.  Past workshops have included Resume Evaluations, Portfolio Reviews, Molding and Casting, Rigging, Welding, and Paint Techniques.  Workshops are open to all interns, regardless of department.

In addition, interns work as designers and/or lead construction crew in all technical areas for the Intern/Apprentice Production. This production runs alongside the professional company productions for the last week and a half of the season.

 

What is a typical day like?

For production interns, the summer is generally comprised of 3 parts: Build Period (5 weeks), Tech (3 weeks), and the Rep Period (all of July) followed by Strike. 

  • Production Interns begin work in early May for a five-week build period.  During this time the Scenic/Lighting/Sound/Props shop works 6 days per week, 8 hours per day (with standard breaks and lunch hour); hours may adjust slightly depending on needs, but will not extend past the set number per week.
  • Mid-June we enter a three-week period of Technical Rehearsals, during which a typical day may be 10-14 hours, six days per week.  Production interns serve as crews for running all three mainstage productions; examples of crew assignments include Fly-Rail, Deck Crew, Light Board Operator, Follow-Spot Operator, etc.
  • Once all three productions are open (end of June), the schedule shifts to running shows and performing change-overs (one or two per day, 6 days a week).

It is during this Rep Period (all of July) that the interns are also spending their free-time working on the Intern/Apprentice Production (optional), which opens the 3rd week of July.  The season concludes with three days of strike during the first week of August.

Actors

Please see the tab above for audition information.

Technicians

Master Electrician

The Great River Shakespeare Festival (a summer repertory theatre in beautiful Winona, MN) is looking for a Master Electrician. The Festival will run four shows in rep: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All’s Well That Ends Well, Shakespeare in Love and Venus in Fur. Dates are May 7-June 30; M.E. is also paid one week for prep and (if feasible) one week for strike at the end of July. Supervises two lighting interns. Transportation compensation, and housing provided. Experience with ETC consoles and standard software (LightWright, Vectorworks) necessary.

To apply, send letter of interest, resume with references, and paperwork samples to production@grsf.org

Costume shop: Lead Draper

Summary:

The Draper/Cutter is responsible for the production of patterns based on the costume renderings, sketches, research, and verbal instructions from the Costume Designer.

  • Fabricates patterns, either by draping or flat patternmaking.
  • Supervises and/or attends fittings of constructed or pulled costumes.
  • Supervises a crew by preparing and delegating work to First Hands and Stitchers.
  • Applicants must have excellent pattern making skills and be able to instruct sewing staff to produce costumes of the highest professional standard.
  • Excellent organizational, communication, and time management skills.
  • Ability to work productively under time pressures and meet deadlines.

Dates: May 7- June 30th 2018
Salary / Rate: competitive
To Apply: please send a resume and cover letter to Joesph Millett at production@grsf.org

Costume shop: Stitcher

Summary:

Constructs or alters all assigned costumes according to the Draper and/or first hand’s specifications.

Qualifications:

  • Proficient skills in standard theatrical construction techniques and practices; strong skills required in machine and hand sewing.
  • Demonstrated experience working on multiple productions within tight timelines and budgets
  • Ability to collaborate with the costume team to efficiently complete assigned projects.
  • Excellent time management and communication skills
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines
  • Works well in a fast paced and high pressure environment.

Dates: May 7- June 30th 2018
Salary / Rate: competitive
Apply: to apply, please send a cover letter and resume to production@grsf.org

Costume Shop: First Hand

Summary:

Responsibilities include assisting in the patterning and cutting of costumes, overseeing stitching projects, assist Draper in fittings, assist in alterations and repairs of costumes, supervising stitchers.

  • Applicants must have excellent pattern making skills and be able to instruct sewing staff to produce costumes of the highest professional standard.
  • Excellent organizational, communication, and time management skills.
  • Ability to work productively under time pressures and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to lift 20 lbs

Dates: May 7- June 30th 2018
Salary / Rate: competitive
To Apply: please send a resume and cover letter to production@grsf.org

Administration

There are currently no open professional positions in administration. Please see above for internships in marketing, video and box office.

Summer Programs for Students

Great River Shakespeare Festival offers an array of programs for students ages pre-K to 18. Click here to  view information about a program for the student(s) in your life!

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