Welcome to the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival
January 30, 2018 1:00 AM - 1:00 AM
As a part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations in 2018, the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival plans to produce Defy the Stars, by alumni playwright Scott Watson. The play follows two actors...
Overture, curtains, lights,
This is it, the night of nights.
No more rehearsing and nursing our parts
We know every part by heart 
Here it is, the start of another Shakespeare Festival, the 24th annual season. The construction on renovating and expanding the beautiful and newly named Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts is finished and our spaces also include the new Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre.. The actors are rehearsed; the sets are built; the lights hung; and the costumes stitched. We have but one element remaining, and that dear audience is you, and you are why we do what we do.
 "This Is It", written by Mack David and Jerry Livingston.
Love, betrayal, vengeance, forgiveness, redemption, and magic . . .
Shakespeare wraps them all into what is believed to be his final, solo-written play.
Directed by Guest Director Curt Tofteland
September 29, 30, October 5*, 6, 7 at 7:30 p.m.
October 1 and 8 at 2 p.m.
Sign Language Interpretation available
Purchase Your Tickets Here!
During rehearsals and development for The Tempest, the U.S. and islands of the Caribbean were struck by the powerful hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and now Maria, and there are further storms threatening. As a festival, we are struck by the vivid reality of such storms, and we cannot perform a play called The Tempest without acknowledging these storms and the devastation, suffering, and grief they have brought. In response, the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival will donate 5 percent of all ticket revenue from The Tempest to the Red Cross for hurricane relief.
Bard To Go: The Wonder of Will: This Is Your Afterlife!
Directed by Karen Libman
What happens when the Bard himself, William Shakespeare, is brought back to life and taken on a rollicking ride through his most famous plays? Eight plays in 50 minutes—but will Will remember that he truly is the most famous English language playwright in the world? Featuring scenes from Hamlet, Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and The Merchant of Venice.
ArtPrize performances September 30-October 1 Gerald R. Ford Museum.
Secondary School tour
October 6, 20, 27 and November 3
Free Public Performance. November 4, Loosemore Auditorium, Pew Grand Rapids Campus.
Guest Scholar-in-Residence John F. Andrews, OBE
Founder and president of the renowned Shakespeare Guild, John F. Andrews is an editor, known especially
for the Everyman Shakespeare editions and the three-volume William Shakespeare: His World, His Work, His Influence. An educator and cultural leader with wide experience as a writer, lecturer, consultant, and event producer, he was also the Resident Scholar for Grand Valley’s first Shakespeare Festival in Fall, 1994.
“Why Shakespeare's 'Brave New World' Continues to Resonate: Reflections on The Tempest.”
September 29 at 4 p.m. Pere Marquette Room. Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus.
Preceded by a reception at 3 p.m. with food and a performance by the Greenshow The Devil is an Ass (a condensed version of the satire by Ben Jonson)
Shakespeare Behind Bars Documentary Screening
Take Shakespeare's final play The Tempest, with its violent seas, windswept island, crucial connection to nature, and underlying theme of forgiveness, and bring it into a prison, the ultimate venue of confinement. The result is an extraordinary story about the creative process and the power of art to heal and redeem--in a place where the very act of participation in theatre is a human triumph and a means of personal liberation.
Shakespeare Behind Bars Screening. October 4, 7 p.m.
Louis Armstrong Theatre, Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts. The screening will be followed by a discussion led by Curt Tofteland.
Curt L. Tofteland is the founder of the internationally acclaimed Shakespeare Behind Bars (SBB) program. SBB has programs in Kentucky and Michigan. He currently facilitates the adult Shakespeare Behind Bars/Michigan program at the Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility and West Shoreline Correctional Facility in Muskegon Heights. He is also the director for our festival production of The Tempest
Our Festival Greenshow this season is an adaptation/condensation of Ben Jonson's The Devil Is an Ass. The 15 minute, renaissance dress performance troupe performed at the annual Grand Valley Renaissance Faire on September 23 and 24th. The will perform again on Friday, September 29th at the reception for the Festival Scholar Presentation by John F. Andrews. The reception begins at 3, with the Greenshow performing around 3:30. They will also give a public performance on Thursday, October 5 at 4:30 p.m. on the patio in front of the Thomas J. and Marcia J. Center for Performing Arts.
- Festival Scholar reception performance. Pere Marquette Room, Kirkhof Center. 3 p.m. with Greenshow performance at 3:30
- Public Performance. Thursday, October 5 at 4:30 p.m. Patio in front of the Haas Center for Performing Arts.
Greenshow performances are free and open to the public. Come see their very funny, interactive performance.
The renovations are now complete and include a new Black Box theatre, the Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box with flexible configuration seating for up to 150. It gives the Theatre program an additional performance venue especially for smaller productions that will bring the audience and performers into close proximity. There are also new classroom and rehearsal spaces, an expanded lobby, and even new restrooms directly across from both theatres! We appreciate your patience and endurance last year through our transition. We hope you will take time to look through and enjoy the spaces.
2016-17 Annual Newsletter
Newsletter Now Available
The Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival annual Newsletter has been printed and distributed. It is available here as a PDF to download and enjoy.
Member: Shakespeare Theatre Association, Theatre Alliance of Michigan. All shows are associate entries in the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival