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2016 Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival

Shakespeare Festival Student Competition

It's competition time!! Before there was ArtPrize! there was the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival Student Competition!

The Student Competition includes monetary awards for student work in the categories of undergraduate critical writing, performing arts, and visual arts, and graduate critical writing. First prize in each category is $100, second is $75, and third is $50.

See this flyer for more information and submit this entry form to enter. 

Entries must be submitted by Wednesday, October 19!

Email Jim Bell at for questions about performing arts or visual arts entries. Email Jo Miller at


23rd Festival Opens

The Annual Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival Opens September 30 with performance of Measure for Measure running through October 9 and performances of the Greenshow Knight of the Burning Pestle performing at the Renaissance Faire October 1 and 2. 

Activities continue with the Shakespeare Festival Conference opening October 7th featuring the public keynote address by Guest Scholar in Residence Dr. Phyllis Rackin on October 7th at 4 p.m. in Cook DeWitt. 
The Conference also features a performance of The Tempest at Loosemore Auditorium at the Pew, Grand Rapids Campus at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students, faculty and staff, and seniors and $7 for general public. It is free for conference attendees. Grand Valley students, faculty, and staff can attend the conference for free with advanced registration. See the conference website linked below for details. 

The Greenshow also performs on October 6 at 4:30 p.m. in the green between Kirkhof and Zumberge pond. 

Bard to Go has a preview performance on October 12 at 1 p.m. at the Mary Idema Pew Library Multi-purpose Room. 

Measure for Measure Promo

Watch the promotional video for Measure for Measure.

Also, click on these links to hear the radio interviews about the Shakespeare Festival on WGVU and Blue Lake Public Radio

Construction Bill

Welcome to fall 2016 and to the Annual Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival. We are at season 23 and counting down quickly to our 25th season celebration ahead. But this year is one of transition for us and of change. As our Will Logo depicts, we are under construction. A classic episode of The Brady Bunch had the Brady kids singing a new song that Greg wrote because Peter’s voice was changing. In that song, “Time to Change” the kids sang, “When it's time to change, you've got to rearrange / who you are into what you're gonna be.”[1] Well it’s time to change! Grand Valley is undergoing a renovation to the Performing Arts Center that will bring big changes to our Theatre program and the Shakespeare Festival.

[1] Written by Billy Meshel, Chris Welch, Raymond Bloodworth.

Floor Plan

Floor Plan of Performing Arts Center Ground Floor changes.Click Here to see the whole floor plan.

In fall 2017, the renovations will be complete and will include a new Black Box theatre with flexible configuration seating for up to 150. It will give the Theatre program an additional performance venue especially for smaller productions that will bring the audience and performers into close proximity. There will also be new classroom and rehearsal spaces, an expanded lobby, and even new restrooms directly across from both theatres! Change can be very good. But getting to that point means a transition year for this year with some making do in temporary locations and some constricted access in the present lobby. But being “under construction” will not deter us from our festivities this fall. We have a full offering of our regular festival activities. We look forward to seeing many of our returning patrons and are anxious to welcome in newcomers as well. There is no better time to enjoy the Shakespeare Festival events. And thank you, our wonderful audience, for making all of our hard work worth it.

Fall 2016 Festival Offerings

Measure for Measure Poster

Measure for Measure

Directed by Roger Ellis

September 30, October 1, 6, 7 at 7:30 p.m.

October 2, 8, and 9 at 2 p.m.

Teachers Special Student Matinees Oct 3, 4, and 6. Click for more information and registration

Bard Macbeth

Bard to Go:Macbeth

Directed by Dennis Henry

New this season, a 45 minute condensed version of a single Shakespeare play. 

Free Public Preview Performance October 12 at 1 p.m.(Lib 100/201 approved)
Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room Allendale Campus

Free Public Performance October 29 at 1 p.m. (Lib 100/201 approved)
Loosemore Auditorium, Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Secondary School tour
October 14, 21, 28 and November 4

Schools: Click Here for School Performance Information and scheduling

2016 Shakespeare Festival Conference

October 7 - 9, 2016

Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids and Allendale, Michigan

Visit the Festival Website for conference information, call for papers and submission information, and online registration.

Conference Banner Image

Phyllis Rackin

Resident Festival Scholar

Dr. Phyllis Rackin

Keynote Address for the Shakespeare Festival Conference

Free Public Presentation

“Measure for Measure Then and Now”

October 7 at 4 p.m. preceded by a reception at 3 p.m. featuring refreshments and a performance by the Festival Greenshow
Cook DeWitt 
Allendale Campus 

Shakespeare festival logo

Shakespeare Festival Student Competition

$$ Prizes $$ for winners in the following categories:

Undergraduate Critical Writing
Graduate Critical Writing
Visual Arts
Performing Arts

Awards Ceremony and Bard to Go Performance
November 5 at 1 p.m.
Loosemore Auditorium, Pew Grand Rapids Campus 


Where's will brochure

Visit Theatre at Grand Valley Site to view 2016-2017 Season

Visit the School of Communications Site

Visit the English Department Site

Member: Shakespeare Theatre Association, Theatre Alliance of Michigan. All shows are associate entries in the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival