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Press Release Archive

2018 Press and Reviews

“I frequently recommend Great River Shakespeare Festival for the outstanding way in which it makes Shakespeare’s work—comedies, tragedies and histories—accessible and enjoyable, without compromising the text or the messages within the work. That is the powerful draw that has made them an essential facet of Minnesota’s fertile theater community.”
Arty Dorman, Talkin Broadway

“The Great River Shakespeare Festival never fails to please—and it does so at the highest level, with the highest level of professionalism and production values.”


“…for everyone in Winona… Great River Shakespeare Festival means more than just attending a play. The MORE begins as we share our community… these unpretentious souls are now part of the cultural fabric of our lives.”

Winona Daily News

“Don’t be like me. Don’t pass over the serious Shakespeare and think you won’t be missing out, because you will. I’m kicking myself for the handful of years I have done that, and thankfully, I’m older now, wiser. I won’t make that mistake again.”

Sarah Squires, Winona Post

“….the director, has staged this conclusion in a thoughtful and poignant manner that adds authenticity to the resolution. In the artful hands of this company, it works beautifully. I was left felling satisfied that brighter days lay ahead for all, and that love has triumphed.

Having been aware of the criticisms levied against All’s Well that Ends Well, I am pleased to have had my first encounter with the play by way of Great River Shakespeare Festival’s well-wrought production, which finds its way through the minefield of its deficiencies to provide dramatically gripping, emotionally gratifying theater, while also giving full due to the Bard’s humor. This is a great opportunity to see a seldom staged work by Shakespeare with its best foot forward.”
             -Arty Dorman, Talkin Broadway

“…I challenge anyone to watch it without laughing out loud… It is perhaps one of the funniest plays I’ve ever seen anywhere”
          – Winona Post

…a total lark… as giddy and funny and slap-happy refreshing as a child running through a lawn sprinkler on a hot summer day…

The humor is low-ball, but always tasteful and with the abundant wit one expects of Shakespeare. While the Bard has done his share of the work, this production, directed by Melissa Rain Anderson, polishes the material to a bright shine. The setting and costumes, the use of music, and the style of performance all underscore the point that we are here for a great time, and nothing more.”
-Arty Dorman, Talkin Broadway

“…Children and adults alike will be blown away…by this fantastical true story, based on an untrue story ”
          – Winona Post

Shipwrecked is first and foremost a tour-de-force opportunity for the actor who plays De Rougemont, an opportunity put to superb advantage by Chris Mixon in this production. Mixon narrates the astounding tale of De Rougemont’s life with complete conviction, conveying his own amazement with the unlikely turns his life took. He is tremendously aided by two actors, Michael Fitzpatrick and Maya Jackson, who play all the other roles—a host of characters, with Fitzpatrick especially hilarious as the frisky, face-licking dog Bruno and the aboriginal chief, and Jackson especially memorable as Louise’s mother, his aboriginal bride, and George Newness, The Wide World’s publisher. The acting trio work beautifully together, directed by Rick Barbour with precision as shifts from character to character, and scene to scene, are managed without missing a beat. A scene in which Fitzpatrick is a newsstand vendor hawking copies of The Wide World with Louis’ story to a crowd of customers—each member of that crowd played by Jackson—is a marvel of split-second timing and comic invention.”

-Arty Dorman, Talkin Broadway

…It’s a role tailor-made for Mixon…who somehow keeps up his breathless storytelling, physical acrobatics, and frequent costume changes without ever leaving stage for the full 90 minutes.”
          -Tom Weber, Post Bulletin

“… the most powerful piece of theater I have seen in my life….It was one woman, but a show so immense, so powerful, there almost wasn’t room for her inside that nearly bare black-box theater….”
         –Winona Post

“It is, at times, enthralling, engaging, shocking, tragic, hilarious and profound, and is an important message for us to hear today as talk of war escalates among our politicians and news media.”
 – Jim Gurley in the La Crosse Tribune

Other Press

2016 Reviews

Read what others are have said about past GRSF seasons:

AS YOU LIKE IT (7/8/16)

As You Like It is easily as frothy and giddy as anything Shakespeare wrote. Great River Shakespeare Festival’s production…takes each bauble and polishes it to a bright and merry shine, resulting in a celebration of love, forgiveness, and the virtue of living amid the glory of nature.”


“In Julius Caesar, Shakespeare depicts the mayhem and unintended consequences that result when men take the law into their own hands in the name of principle. It is a stark and violent play, depicting stark and violent times, but with a message that no doubt had bearing in Shakespeare’s day, as it does in our own. Great River Shakespeare Festival has done excellent work with this production at a time when its message might serve us well.”

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