Front Porch Events

Season 16 Front Porch events.

Join us Saturday mornings during the festival to hear from scholars, theater professionals, and community members about the places where art & life intersect.

All Front Porch Events will take place in the WSU Performing Arts Center’s Dorothy B. Magnus Black Box Theater
Saturday, June 29 at 11:00 a.m. | Frozen River Film Festival

Frozen River Film Festival and GRSF present selected films

Price: Pay-What-You-WILL, no ticket required

Saturday, July 6 at 11:00 a.m. | Nationalism & Reconciliation Panel

Shakespeare’s Cymbeline explores themes of nationalism and reconciliation as Britain separates from Rome and faces what to do with the defeated Roman army. Today, we face many of these same issues globally and locally. How do we reconcile with former enemies? This panel discussion, moderated by Andrew Carlson (long-time GRSF company member and professor of theater at the University of Texas, Austin), will feature Sylvie Bisangwa, a resettlement officer of the United Nations Refugee Agency and a native of Rwanda discussing reconciliation in the 25 years since the Rwandan genocide, David Speetzen, the director of Conflict Studies program at Winona State University, and Lee Carlson, a Vietnam veteran who has done work with the D.O.V.E. Fund building schools in Vietnam. Tickets are available at the door on a pay-what-you-will basis.

Price: Pay-What-You-WILL, no ticket required.

Saturday, July 13 at 11:00 a.m. | Feast of Crispian

Feast of Crispian is a non-profit organization from Milwaukee bringing together professional actors with post-deployment service veterans in order to teach and strengthen emotional resources veterans need to process trauma and address reintegration issues.

Price: Pay-What-You-WILL, no ticket required.

Saturday, July 20 at 11:00 a.m. | Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest

The Sonnet Contest will present the winners. Learn more about the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest here.

Price: FREE, no ticket required.

Saturday, July 27 at 11:00 a.m. | Shakespearean Youth Theatre and GRSF

Shakespearean Youth Theatre’s production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona will be performed by this young ensemble from the Twin Cities. Shakespearean Youth Theatre’s mission is to inspire, empower and challenge young people to engage with great works and create groundbreaking art. The ensemble will be in Winona to train with GRSF teaching artists and will present their work alongside GRSF’s youth ensembles. This Front Porch event will also feature the screening of the Shakespeare for Young Filmmakers’ final project.

Price: $5 adults & students, reserve tickets here.

Saturday, August 3 at 11:00 a.m. | Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender

Lisa Wolpe is an expert on gender-flipping Shakespeare as well as an actress, director, teacher, writer, traveler, and distinguished scholar. Her one-woman show explored her experiences as an activist for inclusion, diversity, equity, access, and promoting women’s rights and racial equality.

Price: $10 adults, $5 students, reserve tickets here.

Will Run

“I go, I go – swifter than the arrow from the Tartar’s bow!” -Puck, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Do you like running? Do you like beautiful scenery? Do you just want to see if you’re faster than an actor?

Whatever the answer may be, Will Run is for you!

Will Run is an annual race hosted by Great River Shakespeare Festival. This year’s race takes place on Sunday, July 21st at 8:00 a.m. Will Run is the only 28-furlong race (that we know of) in existence. 28 furlongs is just a little longer than a standard 5k, and follows the path around Lake Winona, offering competitors not only a fun race, but a beautiful view along the way! The race begins at Lake Lodge and finishes up near the band shell. Company members usually participate, so you can try to outrun King Richard, or chase after that evasive sprite Ariel… don’t miss out on this unique event.

Click here to register online at

Click here to download & print a registration form.

Pre-Show Conversations

Company Conversations

Narrated Set Changeovers

Tree & Garden Tours

30 minutes before each performance, GRSF teaching artists present an entertaining introduction to the world of the play, the characters, and Shakespeare’s language. Located outside on Performing Arts Center patio, moves indoors in case of inclement weather.

Join GRSF Company members every Thursday evening in the theater following the performance and every Sunday at 11am at Blooming Grounds on Third Street. Ask questions and find out their answers about the plays, what it’s like to work in the theater, and more!

Observe the GRSF Tech Crew as they transfrom the stage between the plays. Hosted by GRSF Technical staff, you’ll have the opportunity to watch the stage shift from one play to the next, and have all your technical theater questions answered.

Saturday, July 6th: Fruit and Nut Tree Tour

9:00-10:30 a.m.

                                    Meet at the WSU Gazebo

The Fruit and Nut Tree Tour of the Arboretum at WSU will feature some of the apple, cherry, chokecherry, crabapples, plums, oaks, buckeye, hickories, horse chestnuts, and walnut trees.   How big do the trees get at maturity? How fast do they grow? What are some of the advantages and drawbacks of having these trees in your yard? How much work will they be?

Saturday, July 20th: Gardens of Purpose Tour

                                    9:00-10:30 a.m.

                                    Meet at the WSU Gazebo

The Gardens of Purpose Tour will focus on the reasons for specific gardens in the Arboretum at WSU.  Are you looking for a place that features specific plants? Do you want a place to sit quietly and contemplate?  Is there some kind of historical purpose in your planting? Does the garden provide a physical benefit to your grounds or critters in your area?  Is there an educational reason for the garden? These are questions, among others, that will be answered as you visit different gardens.


Tours will last about an hour and a half and will begin at 9 a.m. at the Gazebo in the center of campus.  Come with questions-leave with answers for your own landscape. Stretch your legs before the Front Porch Events and discover the beautiful Arboretum at Winona State University.  In case of rain, we will meet at the Gazebo and move to an indoor site for a virtual tour.

Join GRSF Directors, Designers, and Artists for the 2019 Design Expo!

It’s the time of year where the GRSF artistic staff (directors, designers, and craftspeople) meet in Winona to discuss the design elements for the upcoming season. We will be holding a public expo where community members can get a look at early design drawings and set renderings, ask questions, and learn about the artistic process. This is a great opportunity to hear and interact with the directors and designers about the vision for the season. You will also hear casting announcements before they are announced to the general public.

The event takes place from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 17th at the Winona County History Center. Light refreshments will be available.

Do you have creative young people in your family? Bring them along! We will be talking about our youth program, Shakespeare for Young Filmmakers, as well as our other summer programs. This is a great opportunity for artistic young folks to get up close and personal with the “pros”!

To learn more about this event or share it on social media, click here.

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