Welcome to the 21st season
of the
Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival

That chill in the air, that color on the leaves, those signs for apple picking, and the kids at the bus stops are all a sure signs. It’s fall again in West Michigan, and that means it’s time for the annual Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival. It’s the dawning of a new decade for the festival that enters its 21 season, making it the longest continuous running Shakespeare Festival in Michigan. The casts have been rehearsing hard, the organizers and committee members have everything in order, now it’s time to welcome you to our festival events. 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. Keep this program to read about all of our activities, and use the calendar to plan your schedule so that you don’t miss any of the excitement. And thank you, our wonderful audience, for making all of our hard work worth it.

This year West Michigan becomes the Wild West—Yee Haw!! So saddle up and ride like the wind to our shindig of show, The Comedy of Errors. It’s a right smart show, a rip-snortin’ side-splitter that will leave you happy as a hog in mud. In fact, for this Shakespearean farce, it’s double the pleasure and double the fun as two sets of identical twins find themselves in a Wild West town “troubled with unruly boys.” The twin Dromios and servant twin Antipholi have been separated at birth, and because “every why hath a wherefore” the play throws in a “a hungry, lean-faced villain” to stir the pot. It’s one balled up bag of nails to be sure. The production also gives a loud Howdy! to one of our Pardners from the past, Equity actor Paul Riopelle. Riopelle, who was last here playing Feste in the 2011 production of Twelfth Night. Riopelle is the law in these parts, playing the role of Sherriff Solinus.


The festival touring show, Bard to Go features a brand new show, Light, Camera, Action! How would the Bard fare trying to peddle his wares to Hollywood producers in our day? Come see the show to find out. Bard to Go: Lights, Camera, Action! will tour Michigan secondary schools this fall and make an appearance performing at ArtPrize on the weekend of September 26. Bard to Go will also perform in downtown Grand Rapids to conclude this season’s festival on November 1 along with the awards ceremony for the festival Student Competition.

Kicking off the festivities this fall on September 26 will be the public presentation "Shakespeare' s Physical Text: Violence and Comedy for the Stage" by Resident Guest Scholar and Shakespeare Festival Conference Keynote Tony Simotes, the artistic director of Shakespeare & Co.  The festival also welcomes the return of the Grand Valley Renaissance Faire, which will include performances by the Shakespeare Festival “Greenshow” production of “Pyramus and Thisbe” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  

Please browse this site to review all of the festival events. Make your plans to attend as much of the festival as your time permits, you’ll love it. We appreciate your attendance and your support and are interested in hearing from you. Please offer any feedback you would like to provide on our feedback page.



Page last modified August 29, 2014