Welcome to the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival

Grand Valley Shakespeare  Festival


Annual Festival Returns

Annual Festival Returns

The annual Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival opens its 26th season.

Sep 23, 2019

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Due to COVID-19 the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival has an abbreviated festival

Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival 2021-2022 Season

This season, the festival has a limited return. We are featuring our regular Bard to Go tour and Greenshow productions. Instead of a traditional Festival Mainstage Shakespeare production, the Festival features two Mainstage productions that are modern adaptations of Shakespeare's plays. First will be Mac Beth by William Shakespeare adapted by Erica Schmidt that will be performed in November. Additionally, there will be a recording of the performances available to stream on demand in December. Details are forthcoming. The final production is Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead that features characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet. It will be performed in January. Performance details are also forthcoming, but we hope to offer in-person performances including two special matinee performances for secondary schools. 

Festival Greenshow

Festival Greenshow

First up, our Festival Greenshow directed by Grand Valley alum Marcus Chapman will be performing at the Annual Grand Valley Renaissance Faire on October 9 and 10th. Specific performance times are coming soon. Additionally, the Greenshow will perform in front of the Haas Center for Performing Arts on Thursday, October 14 at 4:30. If the weather is poor, the performance will move into the lobby of the Performing Arts Center and will be performed in masks.  This year's production is an adaptation of  The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Francis Beaumont and adapted by Kyle Walker and Marcus Chapman.  

The short 15 minute production performs live in person in full Renaissance Dress and is lively and fun. 

Click for the Bard to Go Page

Bard to Go: What Mighty Magic

Bard to Go returns for Fall 2021 with in-person touring performances.  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: What Mighty Magic takes audiences on a tour of Shakespeare's magical scenes, with fairies, witches, ghosts, sprites, and a statue that comes to life. This production features scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Winter's Tale. Bard to Go offers students a lively, fast-paced introduction to Shakespeare's language and stagecraft in a 50-minute program of scenes.

Due to COVID-19, there are special requirements for Bard to Go performances for this fall. Please see the attached letter for details and more information on how to reserve Bard to Go for a school performance.

Bard to Go will also perform a preview performance on Monday October 18 at 5:30  in the Louis Armstrong Theatre and a final public performance on Saturday, November 6 at 2PM in the Grand River Room, Kirkhoff Center, Allendale Campus. All performances will be masked, and audience members are required to wear masks and to complete the daily assessment for faculty, staff, and students, and the Visitor COVID-19 Self Assessment for any visitors.

Online Registration is open!



Bard to Go Performances

Secondary School Performances

Friday, October 22

Friday, October 29

Friday, November 5

Public Performances

Preview Performance

October 18 5:30 PM

Louis Armstrong Theatre, Haas Center for Performing Arts

Allendale Campus

Final Performance

November 6 2PM

Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center

Allendale Campus

Mac Beth Canceled

MAC BETH, originally slated for November 5-14, has been canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes, and we hope to see you at our Winter 2022 productions, ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDERSTERN ARE DEAD


By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Diane Machin

January 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 at 7:30pm
January 23, 30 at 2:00 PM
Special Student Matinee Performances: January 25 and 26

Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre, Haas Center for Performing Arts

More details coming soon!

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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2017-18 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. 



Twitter feed for @GShakes1993

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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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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 2019-2020 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 27, 2021