Welcome to the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival

Grand Valley Shakespeare  Festival

The Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival Returns!

Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival 2022 Season

The Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival for 2022 plans to return to business more as usual. We are featuring a Mainstage Production of The Merry Wives of Windsor along with a regular Bard to Go tour and Greenshow productions. The Merry Wives of Windsor directed by Guest Director Timuchin Aker and featuring guest actor, festival and Grand Valley Alum Jacob Miller, opens in October and will include three special student matinee performances for area schools. Bard to Go features a new production titled Bard to Go: Bardic Inspiration and is directed by guest director and festival and Grand Valley alum Jason Flannery. The Festival Greenshow will be "Pyramus and Thisbe" from A Midsummer Night's Dream and will welcomes back previous Greenshow director, and festival and Grand Valley alum Marcus Chapman. 

The Festival also features a public performance of Blue Eyed Hag by Jim Lair Beard performed by Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company October 15 and 16. Blue Eyed Hag will be presented free to the public.

Click on the Image for the Festival Postcard of Events

Festival Mainstage Production

The Merry Wives of Windsor

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Guest Director Timuchin Aker
Featuring Guest Actor, Festival Alum Jacob Miller as Falstaff
Guest Stage Manager Julia Nichols

October 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 at 7:30pm
October 9, 16 at 2:00 PM
Special Student Matinee Performances: October 10, 11, and 12. Schools can register online to attend.  Letter with additional information for schools

Louis Armstrong Theatre, Haas Center for Performing Arts

The Merry Wives of Windsor, is a laugh-out-loud comedy full of quirky characters and hilarious tricks. Sir John Falstaff, a down-on-his-luck knight, decides to change his fortunes by wooing not one, but two, wealthy Windsor wives. Little does he know that Mistress Page and Mistress Ford are always one step ahead of his plans. When Master Ford comes to believe that his wife is actually in love with Falstaff, chaos ensues, but the two wives have the last laugh. This production, given a modern twist by guest director Timuchin Aker, will delight both Shakespeare lovers and those new to the Bard.

Merry Wives of Windsor Poster

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Bard to Go: Bardic Inspiration

Click for the Bard to Go Page

Bard to Go: Bardic Inspiration

Bard to Go returns for Fall 2022 with a regular tour on Fridays in October to area schools.  Bard to Go is the Shakespeare festival’s touring production, a 50-minute program of scenes which gives students a lively, accessible introduction to Shakespeare in performance, available for performance at your school. 

Bard to Go: Bardic Inspiration , takes on a Dungeons and Dragons inspired quest this year, in a production written, compiled, and directed by guest artist and GVSU alumnus Jason Flannery. A group of friends
playing a Shakespeare-themed role-playing game attempt to vanquish the evil king Macbeth after he has murdered his way to the throne. The players’ quest takes them through scenes from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Tempest as they chase prophecies and magic to complete their adventure.

Bard to Go will also perform a public performance on Saturday, October 29 at 2PM at a site to be determined on the  Allendale Campus. 

For schools wishing to book Bard to Go, Online Registration is open! Letter with additional information for schools



Bard to Go Performances

Secondary School Performances

Friday, October 14

Friday, October 21

Friday, October 28

Friday, November 4

Public Performance

Saturday, October 29 2PM

Site to be determined

Allendale Campus

Festival Greenshow

Festival Greenshow

Our Festival Greenshow directed by Grand Valley alum Marcus Chapman will be performing at the Annual Grand Valley Renaissance Faire on October 8 and 9th. Specific performance times are coming soon. Additionally, the Greenshow will perform in the lobby of the Haas Center for Performing Arts on Thursday, October 13th at 4:30.  This year's production is "Pyramus and Thisbe" from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream as performed by Bottom and the other mechanicals.  

The short 15 minute production performs in full Renaissance Dress and is lively, fun, and interactive, and features many of our newest festival student performers. Come see tomorrows stars today. 

Blue Eyed Hag

Blue-Eyed Hag Poster

Free Public Performances

The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company, a touring company based in West Michigan, will bring its world premiere production of Blue-Eyed Hag by Jim Lair Bear to the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival on October 15 and 16. Blue-Eyed Hag is a prequel to Shakespeare’s The Tempest. 

Pigeon Creek executive director Katherine Mayberry describes the play as “alternately laugh out loud funny and hauntingly poignant. Beard does a fantastic job of recreating the structure and mood shifts of a Shakespearean play, but you don’t need to know Shakespeare or The Tempest to enjoy this new story.” The play begins with two warring kingdoms about to be united by the marriage of their prince and princess. Just as the king of Chatauk lands on the island of Kytiff for the wedding festivities, a mysterious woman also arrives on the island with her newborn baby. The plans for a royal wedding descend into chaos as magic and confusions ensue. Blue- Eyed Hag explores the themes of power and the treatment of strangers in a lively and engaging script.

Jim Lair Beard, who wrote the script, is a playwright, screen writer, and Shakespearean actor currently based in Calgary, Canada. He spent several years as an actor at the American Shakespeare Center in Virginia. He is currently focused on his work as a playwright, and during the past two years of the Covid pandemic wrote three Shakespeare-adjacent scripts, telling original stories inspired by Shakespeare’s characters and settings.

Blue-Eyed Hag image

Photo Credits: Actors Kat Hermes as Nyx and Julia VerStraete as Sycorax in Blue-Eyed Hag.
Photo by Katherine Mayberry

Blue-Eyed Hag by James Lair Beard
Performances by the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company

Pere Marquette Room
Kirkhof Center
Allendale Campus

October 15, 2022 2:00PM

October 16, 2022 7:30 PM

All Performances are Free and Open to the Public

2020 Greenshow The Arraignment of Paris Recording.

The Arraignment of Paris Greenshow 2020

The Arraignment of Paris Greenshow 2020 recorded from Livestream and playing on YouTube

The Arraignment of Paris Greenshow 2020

Purchase Your Tickets Here!

Click on the image to purchase ticket!

Special 25th Retrospective Video

Festival alum Mike Harthen edited this video for our 25th anniversary with voice work provided by festival alum Erin Courtney Harthen. Thanks for the great work Mike and Erin!

25th Anniversary Retrospective Video for the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival


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GVSU Shakespeare Festival
GVSU's production of King Lear runs September 28-Oct 7! General Admission is $15 (see website for student/staff/group pricing) Tickets are available now at (616) 231-2300, or through gvsu.edu/shakes/king-le… #gvsushakes
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GVSU Shakespeare Festival
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GVSU Shakespeare Festival
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Remembering Jacob Owen Jager, Jake

With heavy hearts, we say goodbye to one of our own, Jake Jager, who passed away on March 3, 2018. Jake has been a pillar of our theatre program since beginning at Grand Valley in fall 2013. He happily stepped onto our stage into a role in Much Ado About Nothing to fill a role in need of an actor. Once on the stage, he was rarely off. As one of our most prolific performers, it is most fitting that Jake helped christen the new Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre playing the Emcee in Cabaret. Beyond the boards, Jake was also a leader in the classroom and among the students. He was an active part of Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society, serving in a variety of roles for the Grand Valley Chapter, including as president. At times in fall 2017 it took all he had to take the stage as one of the Ariel's in Tempest and to sing "Willkommen" in Cabaret, but that's what he loved and where he shined as a brilliant shooting star. 

Jake Jager

JULY 6, 1994 ~ MARCH 3, 2018

                              My Ariel, chick,
That is thy charge: then to the elements
Be free, and fare thou well! 

Bio from The Tempest program. 
Jake Jager (Ariel 1) is a senior theatre major with minors in music and advertising and public relations. He is also a Shakespeare Scholarship recipient and Secretary and past President of APO. He has appeared previously at Grand Valley as Launce, Autolycus, Jaques in Bard to Go: Witty fools and Foolish Wits, Dromio of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors, and Antonio in Much Ado About Nothing, all for the Shakespeare Festival, Tobias in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, David in Company, and Dad in Sex and the Supernatural. He has also appeared as Ruben in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Sancho in The Man of La Mancha for Shadblow Theatre. In addition, he served as promotions and sponsorship for Beauty and the Beast, Noises Off, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for Shadblow Theatre where he also serves as an Advisory board member from 2016 season - present.

Jake Jager as Antonio in Much Ado About Nothing

Antonio in 2013 Much Ado About Nothing

Jake Jager as Dromio of Syracuse

Dromio of Syracuse in
2014 The Comedy of Errors.
Jake received the Irene Ryan Nomination from KC/ACTF for his performance. 

Jake Jager as Aulolycus

Autolycus in Bard to Go:Witty Fools and Foolish Wits 2015

Jake Jager as Airel in The Tempest

Ariel in 2017 The Tempest

Shakespeare Festival 20th Reception

Jake at the opening night reception of the 2013 Production of Much Ado About Nothing, the festival's 20th season production. Jake was the first student actor in a festival production who was younger than the festival itself. 

Jake Jager as the Emcee in Cabaret

Emcee in 2017 Cabaret, the inaugural production in the Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre.

Jake Graduation with faculty
Jake Jager graduation with President Haas

Jake graduated from Grand Valley in a special ceremony in February 2018 in the Keller Black Box, fittingly onstage, where he always gave his best. 

Jake Jager graduation with students

Donations to recognize Jake’s life and legacy may be made to the Jake Jager Memorial Scholarship at GVSU; the Pediatric Oncology Resource Team (PORT) at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital to support those that provided him care over the past six years; or to spread happiness, to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of West Michigan who made a dream of his come true.

Visit Theatre at Grand Valley Site to view 2022-2023 Season

Visit the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance Website

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  


Page last modified October 12, 2022