As the Great River Shakespeare Festival enters its tenth year and has proven that not only can it survive but take its place among the best Shakespeare theaters in the country, Paul Barnes, the Festival’s Artistic Director and one of the three founding Producing Directors has announced plans to step down from his administrative role in July, 2013, after launching GRSF’s tenth anniversary season productions. Barnes intends to return to direct often. “This is simply a new chapter in my relationship with the Festival; not a severing of my ties to the company.” Tedd Morgan, GRSF Board President, announced the appointment of Doug Scholz-Carlson, GRSF’s Associate Director, founding company member, actor, director, teacher, and administrator as the Festival’s new Artistic Director, beginning July 1, 2013.
Along with fellow founding Producing Directors Mark Hauck and Alec Wild, Barnes helped launch the company, the largest Equity theatre to be established in the Midwest in a decade, in 2004. Since then, GRSF has attracted over 15,000 people annually to the five-week festival, which has included productions of Shakespeare’s plays, free concerts, numerous guest speakers, and an extensive menu of education and community outreach programs. “I’ve dedicated over 11 years of my life to the planning and implementing of the Festival. It’s time for new adventures and new dreams,” according to Barnes. “I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished in Winona, nor could I be more humbled by or grateful for the friendship and the support that so many who have helped make this dream a reality. I leave my position confident that the company is in the best of all possible hands.”
The Festival’s Board of Directors is currently engaged in long-term strategic planning. The results of that planning along with details about GRSF’s 2013/10th Anniversary Season will be discussed at the Festival’s second annual Stakeholders Meeting, Monday, November 5, from 4:30 – 6:30 PM at the Winona County History Center. The event is free and open to the public.
Read more about Paul Barnes at paulbarnesdirector.com
More about Doug Scholz-Carlson at dougscholzcarlson.wordpress.com
Photos: Paul Mason Barnes (Photo by Kathy Christenson); Doug Scholz-Carlson as the King of Navarre in Love’s Labour’s Lost (2009, directed by Paul Mason Barnes).