Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival

GV Shakespeare Festival

Click on our image to go to the Shakespeare Festival's website.

Watch our Greenshow, October 4 & 5, from 1:00pm and 4:00pm by the clock tower on the Allendale campus!

Join us for Grant Mudge's presentation, Friday, October 2, at 3:00pm in the Marquette Room in the Kirkhof Center and his Informence Friday, Oct. 2, at 6:45pm in the PAC!

Please plan on attending our bi-annual Shakespeare Festival Conference, September 30, 2016. More information forthcoming!

Grant Mudge

Grant Mudge

2015 Shakespeare Guest Scholar

Grant Mudge

Ryan Producing Artistic Director,
Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival
Now in his nineteenth year as an artistic director and his third for the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (NDSF), Grant previously served as the Founding Artistic Director for the Richmond Shakespeare Festival (VA) at Agecroft Hall.  Highlights there included helping to develop Richmond CenterStage, touring to 23 states and more than 200,000 people, and fourteen consecutive years playing Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol for Two Actors.

At Notre Dame, in 2013 Grant created a pilot touring program for regional schools, NDSF: ON TOUR, bringing Shakespeare performances and accompanying workshops to middle and secondary students throughout Northern Indiana, as well as the first-ever subscription season in NDSF history. 

Grant’s directing and acting credits include more than 50 productions. As an actor, Grant’s performances include the title roles in Henry V and Macbeth, Warwick/Poins/Glendower and The Douglas in [The History Cycle], as well as Orsino in Twelfth Night, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Trinculo/Ferdinand in The Tempest, Oberon/Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Orlando in As You Like It, and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew.

A member of Notre Dame’s Film, Television, and Theatre faculty, Grant also serves on the Executive Committee of the Shakespeare Theatre Association (STA), whose annual conference Shakespeare at Notre Dame will host in January of 2016.

GVSU Shakespeare Festival presents All's Well That Ends Well

Our 2015 Shakespeare Festival production! Click on the image to go to get more information!

2015 Shakespeare Guest Artist

GVSU Shakespeare Festival presents All's Well That Ends Well

Brian Russell Webb - Guest artist

2014 Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors - Fall 2014

The Comedy of Errors - Fall 2014 - Click on the image to see more photos!

April 2015 Shakespeare Festival Newsletter

Read the latest Shakespeare Festival newsletter by clicking here!

2013 Much Ado About Nothing

2013 Much Ado About Nothing

Christopher Seiler (Dogberry) and Matthew Fowler (Verges)

2012 Richard III

Richard III

Brian Webb Russell (Richard), Lauren Masud (Lady Anne), Kerissa Bradley (Citizen)

Twelfth Night 2011

Twelfth Night

Sarah Tryon as Viola

About Us

      We are a semi-professional Shakespeare Festival organized in Michigan and located on the campus of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, about twenty minutes west of Grand Rapids.  We've operated annually since 1993.  We are Michigan's oldest and largest Shakespeare Festival.

      More than 6,000 patrons attend our Festival activities each season, which include mainstage performances of the Bard's works, high school touring shows, workshops, new plays projects, symposia with visiting scholars, an all-campus student art competition, a Renaissance Festival, and other events. 

      Our productions are cast from a pool of students, community actors, and guest professionals; union artists are engaged under guest artist contracts administered by the Actors Equity Association.  Our Festival company operates from mid-August through early November, producing public events starting in late September.  By beginning our season in the late summer and early fall, we successfully merge quality productions with the academic life of the University community.

Our Festival maintains strong connections with national Shakespeare activity in several ways.  Prominent Shakespeare practitioners are invited from around the nation and overseas who conduct panels, offer public presentations of their work, and visit literature and production classes on our campus.  Guest artists are nationally recruited through regional professional auditions.  All productions are adjudicated by members of the Kennedy Center-American College Theatre Festival (KC-ACTF).  And the Shakespeare Festival is an active member of the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America (STAA).   Faculty, staff and students regularly attend conferences, competitions, workshops and panels held by the SSTA and KC-ACTF.

The Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival is closely integrated with the University's training program in Theatre Arts.  Festival is organized by members of the University faculty and staff, who strive to involve their students with all aspects of Festival planning and operation: management, production, fundraising, public relations, acting, design, budgeting and other areas.  Each season the faculty and staff also strive to connect Festival activities to important areas of University life outside of dramatic arts: cinema, multicultural affairs, music, philanthropy and public service, alumni, dance, and communications, among others.

Past Productions:

1994 - A Midsummer Night’s Dream

1995 - Romeo and Juliet

1996 - Twelfth Night

1997 - As You Like It

1998 - Much Ado About Nothing

1999 - Macbeth

2000 - Comedy of Errors

2001 - The Tempest

2002 - The Merchant of Venice

2003 - King Henry IV, part one

2004 - Measure for Measure

2005 - Hamlet

2006 - Love’s Labour’s Lost

2007 - Cymbeline

2008 - A Midsummer Night’s Dream

2009 - Romeo and Juliet

2010 - As You Like It

2011 - Twelfth Night

2012 - Richard III

2013 -Much Ado About Nothing

2014 – Comedy of Errors

Our Mission:  The Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival explores and celebrates Shakespeare and his culture for the West Michigan community and beyond through theatre and education.

Click here to read our mission, vision, and values statement.

GV Shakespeare Festival Honorary Board

Shakespeare Board

New Shakespeare Festival Honorary Board Inaugurated

As part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the GVSU Shakespeare Festival, the organizing committee appointed an Honorary Board comprised of some of West Michigan’s most ardent supporters of the arts and of community development.  Their aim will be to propel the Festival toward even greater excellence, to strengthen the connection of the Festival to the larger community, and to help the Festival extend its reach to new audiences.

The Board’s 11 members were invited to meet at a reception held before the opening night performance on Much Ado About Nothing.   Costumed students greeted the Board while members of the organizing committee treated them to the Cyril Lixenberg exhibit in the University Gallery as well as a pre-show talk by dramaturg Professor Jo Miller (English Department). 

Members of the Honorary Board are:

Betty Burton, Tim Cusack, Gilbert Davis, Patricia Davis, Shelley Irwin, Don Lubbers, Nancy Lubbers, Laura Salazar, Ruth Stegeman, Bruce Tinker, Wendy Wenner

The Shakespeare Festival organizing committee is excited to have this valuable additional human resource to provide insight and input to our planning and audience development activities.  Their service to the Shakespeare festival and GVSU twice blessed!


Theatre Links

2013 - Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

The Good Person of Setzuan, 2013

The Good Person of Setzuan

Much Ado About Nothing 2013

GV Shakespeare Festival 2013

ReACT! 2013-2014

ReACT! 2013-2014

Richard III 2012

Richard III 2012

School of Liberal Arts & Science

School Liberal Arts

School Of Communications

School Of Communications

Spotlights Import 12/20/13

GVSU Alum: Patrick Holt

GVSU Alum: Patrick Holt

Round Belly Theatre Company founders in Oakland, CA. Check out their website and their review in the San Francisco Examiner:

Sara Vasquez

Sara Vasquez

In 2010-11, she served as the Stage Management Intern at Lexington Childrens Theatre (LCT) in Lexington, Kentucky. She fell in love with the theatre and the staff and so after taking the summer off, she returned this season (2011-12).

Jill Zwarensteyn in LA

Jill Zwarensteyn in LA

Theatre alum pursues comedy dreams in LA! Jill Zwarensteyn (Theatre, 2009) moved to LA in 2010 and is already working in the business! Universal Pictures just hired her to promote the film "Hop" at different events throughout Los Angeles. Since

Alumni Postcard

Alumni Postcard

An update from Whitney Hershberger: Since graduation I have completed a year of service with AmeriCorps at Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids, where I received hands-on experience with non-profit administration. During my year of service I also t

Grand Valley alumna awarded prestigious Fulbright research award

Grand Valley alumna awarded prestigious Fulbright research award

Lydia Benker Wins Fulbright Study/Research Fellowship

View More Spotlights Import 12/20/13