Get in on the Act

You are invited to connect

The 25th anniversary of the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival is a great time to connect across the disciplines with the themes of the main stage production of King Lear in fall 2018 .  We invite your participation.

Share how you plan to connect

If your course will connect to the themes in King Lear or you are holding an ancillary event connected to Shakespeare, let us know and we'll celebrate it here.  Email us.

Shakespeare garden

Dean Antczak declares 9/28/18 to be Shakespeare Day in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dean Frederick J. Antczak declares September 28, 2018 to be Shakespeare Day in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Shakespeare Day declaration

Whereas this year marks the 25th anniversary celebration of the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival, the oldest and largest in our land of Michigan,


Whereas the mainstage production of King Lear exemplifies the depth and breadth of themes, historical and evergreen, for which the Bard is celebrated,


Whereas professional actors, Grand Valley students and faculty, and esteemed alumni have all come together to honor the transformative power of participation in the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival,


Be it known that, on this 28th day of September in the year 2018, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences hereby declares, in the finest tradition of Liberal Education, it to be Shakespeare Day throughout our college. 


GVSU Art Gallery

In 2018, the GV Shakespeare Festival celebrated their 25th season of exploring and celebrating Shakespeare and his culture for the West Community and GVSU. Each year GVSU faculty, staff and students put on a production of a different Shakespeare play, starting with A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1994, to King Lear as part of the 25thcelebration. Over the years, the GVSU Art Gallery has collected a number of Shakespeare related artworks, posters and print collections.


Shakespeare at GVSU

Check out Shakespeare in the GVSU Art Gallery permanent collection, or take a walking tour around campus to see it in person!


GVSU’s Shakespeare Garden

The Shakespeare Garden, an idea fostered by GVSU President Don Lubbers, was first dedicated on October 6th, 1993. What started as a small plot of uneven, unloved land, became a project that brought together students, professors and GVSU staff. All of the work to create the original garden, plotting, digging, planting, weeding, and mowing was all accomplished by the GVSU community. Even the first flowers were transplanted from home gardens, and ceramic plant markers created by a local artist. Over the years there have been a number of sculpture additions to the garden that are now part of the GVSU Art Gallery permanent collection.


The Stage and Its Stars

“The Stage and Its Stars” is a two-volume set of over 100 pages of text and 56 full-page photogravures with a full-page description for each print. The collection features a “gallery of dramatic illustration and critical biographies of distinguished English and American Actors from the time of Shakespeare till to-day”- or the late 1890s when the set was first published by George Gebbie, a lithographer. Check out the GVSU Art Gallery collection’s copy of this large collection: [LINK coming soon]


Links to our free “Art at GVSU” app that features the GVSU art collection. 



Google Play

Puck fountain

GEARING GLOBAL: Shakespeare Reception

All you fans of the arts and internationalness, come out to Gearing Global's first event of the semester!

Saturday, 29 September
Haas Center for Performing Arts
Time TBD

King Lear will be playing this night! Click here to learn how to purchase your ticket.

The Padnos International Center & the Department of Area and Global Studies bring you Gearing Global, a series of events raising cultural and international awareness at GVSU. 

King Lear promotion

Shakespeare Garden

The university arborist, Steve Snell, will be planting some of the plants mention in King Lear in the Shakespeare Garden next to Lake Superior Hall.



Prof. Sheila Blackman (BIO) will teach a fall section of HNR 242 – Plants and People.  Students make a study of a particular plan.  They'll choose from the list of the plants in King Lear.


Professor Henry Duitman will conduct Debussy's King Lear Fanfare.

Visual Resources Library

The Visual Resources Library has some images of artwork inspired by King Lear See it here.

Plants mentioned in King Lear

Apple      Burdock             Cork(y)           Corn        Crab(-apple)

Cuckoo-Flowers      Darnel      Flax      Fumiter      Furrow-weeds

Hemlock     Harlocks (Burdock)     Hawthorn     Lily(-livered)

Marjoram     Nettles     Oak     Oats     Peascod     Rosemary

Samphire     Vines     Wheat

Fostering Laker Success

Donors are sending all the mentors and mentees of GVSU's Fostering Laker Success program to see King Lear.  Learn more about this program to support students with experience of the foster care system through their college years.

University Archive

The archivists have created an exhibit here in Seidman House with some of the old Festival programs and book titles in our collections that derive from Shakespeare’s plays. That’s on exhibit now, and will remain up through the Festival. When the Festival begins,  a short blog post on our Wordpress digital exhibit site ( about the history of the Festival with some of our archival photographs will be added.

A second display of archival material is in Mackinac Hall in the CLAS display case.


Page last modified October 29, 2018