GVSF Education & Outreach

matinee lunch
bard to go

The educational programs of the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival are extensive and long-standing. Over the past two decades, Festival has worked hard to develop and publicize the special opportunities it has offered to Grand Valley students, and to more than 15,000 middle & high school students and their teachers. Our activities are extremely popular and heavily enrolled each season.

Needless to say, Festival's connection with Grand Valley State University and its Theatre program ensures that all GVSU students enjoy both classical and contemporary theatre in the classroom and onstage. Festival has become a key partner with the GVSU Theatre program to provide scholarships, plays, workshops and training; and also to offer presentations by internationally acclaimed scholars in the playhouse and in the University's classrooms.

Festival also enhances middle and high school education in the tri-county area in two ways: by bringing the Bard directly to these schools in the form of its annual touring show, and by offering special midweek schools matinees of its mainstage Shakespearean play on campus. In these ways, GVSF reaches nearly 3,000 students each year, half of whom visit GVSU's Allendale campus for a full-length production, lunch, and tour. Moreover, GVSF underwrites most of the cost of this activity. Schools pay less than $1 per student for touring performances, and $2.50 for the half-day matinee experiences on the Allendale campus.

Special Touring Production of Animal Farm

For Fall 2023, Theatre at Grand Valley will tour a new adaptation of George Orwell's Animal Farm adapted and directed by Dr. Alli Metz. The production is placed in a modern setting that highlights the relevance of the novel's themes with today's adolescents. The tour will perform similarly to the Shakespeare Festival Bard to Go productions with a small cast and few sets that make it easily travelable and performable at various school settings. More details and online reservations for school performances can be found here. 

Even when we are not performing a Shakespeare production, we still have a full season of interesting and quality productions, many of which might interest high school theatre groups, Thespian troupes, Language Arts classes, or other educational communities. Groups can always contact us about coordinating times to come see a production. We especially encourage juniors and seniors who are interested in theatre to contact us, arrange to come to campus for a visit, and receive complimentary tickets for them and their family to see a production. Any group or student can always email me, as the  Festival’s Managing Director, Jim Bell, at [email protected], or the GVSU Music, Theatre, and Dance Recruitment Coordinator, Bridgett Vanderhoof at [email protected], to arrange a visit.

Page last modified May 25, 2023