FOW Newsletters from 2009

Usher Training Materials

Posted June 12, 2009

Thanks to everyone who attended usher training on June 10 and 11. Materials from the sessions are posted below. Click on the links to view the documents as pdf files.

2009 GRSF Usher Manual

Usher Training Scenarios with Sample Answers

Friends of Will Read Announces Dates for 2009 Season

Posted June 1, 2009

As the Great River Shakespeare Festival Opening Weekend approaches, the annual Friends of Will Read begins on Wednesday, June 10, 7:00 – 8:30 with a discussion of Love’s Labour’s Lost led by Dr. H. Patrick Costello, Dr. John Kerr, Peter Flick, and Kathy Peterson.

On Wednesday, January 17, 7:00 – 8:30, Carla Noack will lead a discussion on The Tempest. Noack is a prominent actor who has been featured in previous GRSF productions.

A final Friends of Will Read will explore Hamlet, the GRSF Apprentice Company production scheduled for July 21 – 25. This session is on Wednesday, July 15, 7:00 – 8:30.

All Friends of Will Read discussions are held at Mugby Junction on 451 Huff Street. There is no charge. These are moderated discussions and open to everyone. If you are unfamiliar with the plays, one suggested resource is Essential Shakespeare Handbook by Leslie Dunton-Downer and Alan Riding, available at Winona book stores.

Volunteers particapte in company Opening Day, 2009

Volunteers to Receive Complimentary Ticket

Posted May 30, 2009

Each Friends of Will volunteer will receive a free ticket for one performance during July 1 – 11 in recognition of their generous commitment to the Great River Shakespeare Festival. Volunteers must register for the 2009 season by signing up online ( “Join Us” link) or completing a card at the GRSF Office, 79 East Third Street. A free ticket will then be available by stopping at the GRSF Office or calling the Box Office at 507-474-7900.

Great River Shakespeare Festival Offers Usher Training to Volunteers

Posted May 30, 2009

In preparation for the Great River Shakespeare Festival season, all volunteer ushers and hosts (formerly known as greeters) must attend one training session at the Performing Arts Center on the Winona State University Campus.

Training dates are Wednesday, June 10, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. or 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, June 11, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. There’s no need to pre-register. Volunteers are encouraged to attend at the most convenient time.

There is still time to register for volunteering with GRSF. The Volunteer Sign-Up Book is available in the GRSF Office during weekday hours (10:00 – 5:00 p.m.) and at all trainings. More information can be found at, or by contacting Karen Fawcett at 507-454-4194 with questions.

Become a volunteer to meet new people, learn new skills, and be a proud member of the Great River Shakespeare Festival.

Time to Sign Up for Ushering and Hosting

Posted April 21,2009

Nicole Rodenburg, Chris Hirsch and Chris Mixon in The Taming of the Shrew (2008 directed by Alec Wild)

Beginning this Thursday (April 23rd), the Signup Book will be available in the Great River Shakespeare Festival office at 79 East Third Street.

This season, changes have been made to strengthen Front of House work.

1. The title of Greeter has been changed to Host to better reflect the role.

2. All ushers and hosts must attend an annual training to qualify as a volunteer. We think you’ll enjoy the new training format.

3. Starting on April 23rd, you may sign up to volunteer at all season performances and events, then plan to attend a June training. Stop by the office during weekday hours (10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.).

4. This year, there’ll be an even greater need for Company Meal cooks and servers. Consider donating food sometime during the season. When you sign up for usher/host volunteering, add your name to the Food sheet as well.

5. June training options at the Performing Arts Center are

  • Wednesday (June 10th) 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. or 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday (June 11th) 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
  • There’s no need to pre-register for the training, just show up at a time convenient for you.

6. Head ushers and ushers in accessibility seating will be recruited based on experience and skills. If you have questions about this, check with Karen at 507-454-4194

7. All volunteers are invited to our annual Friends of Will Gathering on Wednesday (May 27th), 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center. You’ll enjoy welcoming the GRSF Directors, hearing about the season, and talking with Friends Team Leaders about volunteer opportunities.


Unable to get to the office to sign up?

Contact Karen Fawcett at 507-454-4194 or Pat Nolan at 507-454-1507

Welcome to the first edition of the Friends of Will Newsletter.

Posted March 20, 2009

Friends of Will Steering Committee

Friends of Will Steering Committee

Welcome to the first edition of the Friends of Will Newsletter. In this edition we have a few suggestions of things you can do to get yourself ready for the season.


  • Read The Tempest, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Hamlet essays in Marjorie Garber’s Shakespeare After All. The book is available at the Winona Public Library and for sale at local bookstores.
  • The Great River Collegium led by Dr. H. Pat Costello is reading and discussing the season’s plays in January – May courses, each play read and discussed for five weeks. The classes are full for this season, but look ahead to 2010.
  • Friends of Will Read meets in June to discuss the three plays. Led by Dr. John Kerr of Saint Mary’s University, the evenings are open to the community, and volunteers are given hour credits for attendance. Watch for more details!
  • Join the GRSF blog site at

Training and Signing Up

  • If you’re interested in becoming a GRSF volunteer or, as a current volunteer, you haven’t updated with a 2009 Volunteer Registration Card, click here to volunteer online. We need your most recent address and volunteer interests to stay in touch.
  • Training for ushering and greeting will be held in June. House Manager Lea Karlssen and Front of House Team Leaders Pat and Karen are restructuring the training format this month and will post details on the Friends site in April.
  • The Front of House signup book will be ready later in April. You’ll be notified before it’s placed in the office.
  • Other teams will discuss training as you volunteer.


  • Thanks to all who attended and worked at the March 8th Season Preview and to all who cooked lunches for the Design Team weekend meetings.
  • Welcome to new volunteers who joined us during the Season Preview.
  • If you signed up for the Distribution Team, you’ll be called as soon as season materials are ready.
  • Tracy Morgan is chairing the GRSF table at the annual Earth Day Celebration (April 18th 10:00 – 4:00) on the Winona State University Campus.

Jonathan Gillard Daly and Michael Fitzpatrick in The Taming of the Shrew (2008, dir Alec Wild)

Jonathan Gillard Daly and Michael Fitzpatrick in The Taming of the Shrew (2008, dir Alec Wild)

Questions or comments?

Call Terry Hawkings (507-459-0289) or Karen Fawcett (507-454-4194)

Call GRSF General Manager Jeff Stevenson at 507-474-7900 x112

79 East Third Street Winona MN


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s