Welcome to the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival

Grand Valley Shakespeare  Festival


Annual Festival Returns

September 23, 2019

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

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Join us for our annual season of festivities

A Midsummer Night's Dream graphic design text

Click for the A Midsummer Night's Dream page

Mainstage Production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

25 years ago, the fledgling Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival committee was preparing for the inaugural season that would begin with A Midsummer Night's Dream. Now, as we look towards the next 25 years, the festival again turns to this classic comedy. Join us, Oberon, Titania, Hermia, Helen, Lysander, Demetrius, and of course Puck and Bottom, and the rest of the villagers, fairies, and mechanicals as we come together again to see Theseus marry Hippolyta, and to be swept off into the forest to watch the foolish mortals. 

A Midsummer Night's Dream Promotional Poster

Click on Poster to Download the full poster

A Midsummer Night's Dream Poster from 1994

Poster from the 1994 Premiere Shakespeare Festival Production

Click on the image to purchase ticket!

Click on the image to purchase ticket!

Bard to Go Logo

Click for the Bard to Go Page

Bard to Go: Tossing on the Ocean

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.  This year’s program, Bard to Go: Tossing on the Ocean, takes the audience on a sea-faring journey with Prospero, a powerful magician, and his assistant Ariel, a magical spirit with strange powers.  When Prospero and Ariel conjure a storm to shipwreck Prospero’s enemies, their magic spills over from their own play, The Tempest, and causes havoc for many of Shakespeare’s characters.  This production includes scenes from The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Pericles, The Comedy of Errors, and The Merchant of Venice.

John Cox, PhD

Annual Scholar in Residence

The Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival welcomes Dr. John Cox as this year’s Scholar-in-Residence.
Dr. Cox is the DuMez Professor Emeritus of English at Hope College in Holland, MI. He served as the Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies program at Hope from 1984 to 2004. He previously taught at Westmont College, the University of Victoria BC, Harvard University, and the University of California at Berkeley.

Free Public Presentation

“Paradoxia Shakespeareana.”
September 27..............................................................................................................4 p.m.

Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre
Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts
Allendale Campus

Admission is free and open to the public. Lib 100

Festival Greenshow

Festival Greenshow

Our Festival Greenshow Jack Juggler will perform for Family Weekend and the Grand Valley Renaissance Faire as well as at the Festival Conference and a public performance on Thursday, October 3. 

Purchase Your Tickets Here!

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!

Newsletter Cover Image

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
Profile picture for @GShakes1993
GVSU Shakespeare Festival
Profile picture for @GShakes1993
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