About the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival

The Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival is an annual series of cultural, educational, and performing arts events held in the fall and operated and administered by Grand Valley State University. With its inaugural season in 1994, the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival is the oldest Shakespeare Festival in Michigan and enters its 25th season in consecutive operation this fall. With a firm commitment to the arts and education, the Shakespeare Festival actively promotes and provides arts education that affects the Grand Valley community as well as the community of audience members, students, and teachers in Michigan and beyond.

Our productions are cast from a pool of students, community actors, and guest professionals; union artists are engaged under guest artist contracts administered by the Actors Equity Association. Our Festival company operates from mid-August through early November, producing public events starting in late September. By beginning our season in the late summer and early fall, we successfully merge quality productions with the academic life of the University community.

Our Festival maintains strong connections with national Shakespeare activity in several ways. Prominent Shakespeare practitioners conduct panels, offer public presentations of their work, and visit literature and production classes on our campus. Guest artists are nationally recruited through regional professional auditions. All productions are adjudicated by members of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). Also, the Shakespeare Festival is an active member of the Shakespeare Theatre Association (STA). Faculty and staff members and students regularly attend conferences, competitions, workshops, and panels held by the STA and KCACTF.

The Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival is closely integrated with the University's training program in theatre arts. The Festival is organized by members of the University faculty and staff who strive to involve students with all aspects of Festival planning and operation: management, production, fundraising, public relations, acting, design, budgeting, and other areas. Each season faculty and staff members also strive to connect Festival activities to important areas of University life outside of dramatic arts: cinema, multicultural affairs, music, philanthropic and public service, alumni, dance, and communications, among others.

Our Mission:

The Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival explores and celebrates Shakespeare and his culture for the West Michigan community and beyond through theatre and education.

Our Vision:

The Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival is a creative environment for educational and artistic excellence for a diverse and growing population.

Our Values:

  • Shakespearean tradition: investigation of shared humanity
  • Arts: performing, literary, visual, and scholarly
  • Excellence: professionalism, discipline, rigor, quality, hard work, aesthetics.
  • Learning: educating, outreach, and enrichment
  • Collaboration: including vigorous participation of students, faculty from a variety of disciplines, professional artists, staff, community members, scholars. Intrinsic to theatre and bedrock of relationships. Sharing.
  • Enjoyment: providing a welcoming atmosphere to engage participation in fund and gratifying activities.
  • Future-thinking: maintaining a legacy of success and sound management.
  • Relevance: providing events and activities that are available and affordable to diverse populations.

Visit our Shakespeare Festival website!

GV Shakespeare Festival's Honorary Board

Dan Balfour

Paul Collins

Tim Cusack

Marcia Haas

Tom Harryman

Shelley Irwin

Arend D. Lubbers

Nancy Lubbers

Simha Magal

Vandana Pednekar-Magal

Gary Mitchell

Jeralyn Pinsky

Mary Beth Quillin

Laura Salazar

Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival T-shirts

GV Shakespeare Festival t-shirts are available for sale. T-shirts are $10 each or two for $15.00. To order by cash, check, or credit/debit card please call 616-331-8176. Most sizes (small, medium, large, XL, and 2XL) are available.

The Comedy of Errors t-shirt

The Comedy of Errors - Fall 2014

Will Power t-shirt front

Will Power

Will Power t-shirt close-up

Will Power close - up.

Will Power Back

Back of Will Power t-shirt

Twelfth Night t-shirt 2011

Twelfth Night

As You Like It t-shirt

As You Like It

As You Like It t-shirt

As You Like It

Richard III  t-shirt

Richard III

Love's Labours Lost t-shirt photo

Love's Labour's Lost

Page last modified October 29, 2018