FOW behind the scenes, Hire an apprentice, FOW Volunteer opportunity updates

Behind the Scenes: FOW provide Company & FESTIVAL Support

maggie PeteTeam Chariot team members brought company members to Winona from area airports in early May.
Early Housin
g team members hosted 35 GRSF company members who stayed in family homes before they moved into the WSU’s East Lake apartments.
Move in/Move team members
assisted with moving bins of apartment supplies from the Johnson St. warehouse to the East Lake.
Photos: Maggie Lambert and other FOW helped Company Manager Pete Suardi inventory and pack bins of kitchen necessities for company apartments.

Kudos and Thank You to FOW and Exchange Club members who helped with a bulk mailing project.  The volunteer hours saved GRSF $700.00!


Volunteer OPPOrtunity updates

Hire an Apprentice
GRSF Apprentice company members are once again available to help you with house and yard projects.  Apprentices are generally available on Mondays. The suggested pay is $15.00 per hour.  If you would like to support these hard working college and university students please complete this Google Form.   Please send any questions or concerns to Stephen Miranda, Assistant to Artistic Director.  2014 Apprentice Company members, Caroline Amos and Silas Sellnow, are acting interns this summer. Caroline will play the title role in Rome and Juliet; Silas will play Paris.
Photos: 2014 Apprentice Company Production, Troilus and Cressida


Help a lucky person win the Callithump quilt
Each season the quilt designed and created by Friends of Will contributes to GRSF fund-raising initiatives. FOW can help with this fundraiser by helping  promote the quilt and selling  raffle tickets before each performance and during intermission in the theatre lobby! Selling tickets is an easy and a fun way to interact with theater patrons. Information about the design process, the fabrics, and quilt completion will be available to help you. Sign up with Volunteer Local.  Other Front of House positions are still open.


Tech Week Hospitality
There have been some meal schedule changes for June Tech week.  The new schedule and sponsoring groups:
6/14 Sunday evening (FOW pasta bar)
6/16 Tuesday evening (FOW Taco Bar)
6/17 Wednesday noon (Early Birds) ~ 6/17 Wednesday Evening (FOW potluck)
6/19 Friday evening (Carpe Diem)
6/20 Saturday noon (FOW Salad bar)~ 6/20 Saturday evening (FOW potluck)
6/21 Sunday evening (FOW Salad bar)
6/23 Tuesday evening (Exchange Club)
6/28 Sunday evening (FOW potluck)
6/30 Tuesday evening (Rotary)

Check your email for revised sign up Doodles! Anyone who already signed up and affected by the change will be contacted individually.  If you would like to help and have not yet volunteered or been contacted, please contact Hospitality team chair, Jean Hayes
Reminder: Hospitality Training is June 9!


2015 Friends of Will Steering Committee

Front: Karin Worthley, Dee Cipov, Mary Alice Anderson, Terry Hawkings.  Back: Jim Worthley, Jean Hayes, Blandine Berthelot, Marsha Yancy, Judy Rusert, Jim Nelson. Not pictured, Tom Hoffman, Tracy Morgan, SherriLu Pappas

Volunteer Opportunities: Help a lucky person win the Callithump quilt! Hospitality updates

quilt_2015Each season the quilt designed and created by Friends of Will contributes to GRSF fund-raising initiatives. FOW can help with this fundraiser by helping  promote the quilt and selling  raffle tickets before each performance and during intermission in the theatre lobby!

Selling tickets is an easy and a fun way to interact with theater patrons. Information about the design process, the fabrics, and quilt completion will be available.

Select a time to help using Volunteer Local

People are already asking how they can win this year’s quilt. It is nearing completion and will be in hung in the Lobby when the Season begins. This season’s queen size beautiful quilt features an abstract tree and heart design was inspired by the season poster and the season theme, What Love Dares.

The raffle drawing is a Callithump event, July 28!

HappycompanymembersHospitality Update
Hospitality Team orientation is June 9, 5:30 – 6:30, 103 Minne Hall at WSU.  Please use this link  to sign up for hospitality training.
Friends of Will who would like to join the hospitality team should contact  Jean Hayes, Team Leader

Front of House and Hospitality Updates: Scheduling & Orientation

Front of House
Friends of Will are invited to sign up for Season 12 Front of House volunteer slots!

Flex ushers are a new FOH position
.  Flex ushers must be able to decide where help is needed, either ticket taking or inside as usher, and be available for traffic directing at intermission. Training is imperative.
Front of House attire: Plain black bottom, plain white top.
June Front of House volunteer training is in June. Dates TBA.

Questions? Contact Judy Rusert, Team Leader
Tech Week Hospitality, June 14-23
Information about  tech week food needs and volunteer opportunities will be sent to Hospitality team members soon.  Hospitality team members can sign up for their choices as soon as they receive the information.

WorthleysWelcome Karin and Jim Worthley, new Co-Team Leaders who will be on site to back up the HOSTS  during most Tech Week meals. Karin & Jim have provided lots of food items in the past but this is their first time as team leaders. They have had great deal of experience in community theater and working with volunteers.

Save the date! Hospitality Team orientation is June 9, 5:30 – 6:30 in 103 Minne Hall at WSU.

Friends of Will who would like to join the hospitality team should contact  Jean Hayes, Team Leader

Help the GRSF office with a mailing project

Several Friends of Will have been helping the GRSF office with a mailing project.  More help is needed to complete the project. The work involves folding letters and stuffing envelopes.  If you can  help in the office Monday May 4, please use this link to select a time slot and enter your name!

Getting Ready for Season 12


Great River Shakespeare Festival invites the Friends of Will to join them in celebrating William Shakespeare’s 451st birthday and the summer campaign kick-off on Thursday, April 23 from 11:30 am until 1:00 pm at The Bookshelf/Blue Heron in downtown Winona.

While Great River Shakespeare Festival celebrates Shakespeare all year long, they’re especially excited to celebrate his 451st birthday! Join GRSF friends and fans at The Bookshelf/Blue Heron on Thursday, July 23 for cake, celebratory remarks, and general revelry from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. If you missed the Spring Preview, this is your chance to hear about cast lists and the latest information on the upcoming season.

Front of House
Friends of Will are invited to sign up for Front of House volunteer slots starting early May.

Friends of Will will again provide meals for the GRSF Company during Tech  Week.  Some positions are filled, but we need additional volunteers to:
1. help serve midday (10 am – 12N)or evening (4 pm – 6 pm) June 14-23, 2015 (excluding Mondays & Thursdays)
2. prepare food during the week
3. prepare and freeze soup, cookies, bars ahead of time

If you can help, please contact: or 507-454-3895

If you are not a Friend of Will or have not volunteered as a FOW since 2012 please complete the FOW registration form.

FOW Behind the Scenes

Many Friends of Will have been helping The Great River Festival throughout the past several months and are busy with pre-season support.
~ Transportation and Early Housing teams  provided assistance during the March spring Preview.  They will be cheerfully helping again when Company members arrive early May.
~Will Quilt team members are completing the 5th annual Callithump Raffle Quilt Raffle highlighting costume shop fabrics.  This year’s quilt is once again inspired by the Season poster design.
~ FOW assisted at the GRSF/Minnesota Marine Art Museum Valentine’s Day  Bash at the Marine Art Museum and helped with a GRSF Development mailing.


FOW Ray Felton, Naomi Thye, Jennifer Georgieff, Lou Gillou and Linda Wilfahrt helped with a development mailing in April.

Friends of Will Steering Committee
Mary Alice Anderson and Terry Hawkings, Co-Chairs.
Blandine Berthelot, Dee Cipov, Jean Hayes, Tom Hoffmann, Tracy Morgan, Rev. Jim Nelson, Judy Rusert, Marsha Yancy

Friends of Will are encouraged to visit this page throughout the spring  for updates and to watch for information via email from team leaders.

Bookmark the Permanent Link for the FOW Newsletter

Season 11 FOW Annual Report

Over 200 active Friends of Will contributed 4200 volunteer hours to the Great River Shakespeare Festival throughout Season 11. Members include 47 new Winona and Winona area FOW who joined in 2014 and 32 Rochester Friends. The Friends of Will provide Company and Festival support, Front of House support, and Community outreach. A new initiative this year was using Volunteer Local a web based scheduling system for all Front of House volunteer scheduling. Click here view the full report!

Thank you, Friends of Will!

Thank-YouDear Friends of Will,

I cannot begin to thank you enough for everything you have done for GRSF this season. We simply could not exist without all of your work. I hope you are taking great pride in the many accomplishments of Season 11.  We started the season talking about how the simple, mundane things we do every day in the theater can become an invitation for us and for our community to experience more fully what it is to be human. Whether passing out programs, cooking meals, giving rides, or playing Hamlet, we need every member of this company to put these plays on stage and to invite our patrons to see them. Once inside the theater, I believe we have opportunity to start a conversation that can help make our community the place we want to call home – and I believe that is exactly what we have done this season.

Thank you for being a vital part of this company.

Doug Scholz-Carlson, Artistic Director

Friends-of-Will-logoDear Friends of Will,

It was a year of great change this season and so many of us had to trust and adapt to the new personalities, programming, and procedures. From Front of House to Hospitality to Chariots- every single department and almost all of you had to work with a new point person or within a slightly changed system. And you rose to the occasion and then some. Thanks so much for all you did to make these changes and this season such a success. And I can only thank each of your personally for your faith and support. We are truly privileged to have you an integral part of GRSF. And a special thank you to all the department heads and to Mary Alice and Terry for overseeing it all. We look forward to your comments and thoughts as we make our way forward.

On to the great work of Season 12!!!!

~ Lee Gundersheimer, Managing DirectorFriends-of-Will-logo

Thank you from Mary Alice and Terry

It was a successful season for the Friends of Will as hundreds of Friends helped GRSF throughout  Season 11.  Front of House volunteers, our largest group, worked 1480 hours!  Many other teams and individuals worked behind the scenes at company events and to help company members. We are beginning to compile information for the FOW annual report that celebrates the continuing success of the Friends of Will.  The report will be available here this fall.

Thank you!

Mary Alice Anderson and Terry Hawkings, Friends of Will Steering Committee Co-Chairs Friends-of-Will-logoJennifer and KelleyGaby Peterson, co-owner of Yarnology in Winona won the Callithump quilt raffle.   FOW Jennifer Georgieff and Yarnology co-owner Kelly Momsen proudly hold the quilt now on display at Yarnology, 65 East Third, Winona.  Gaby’s Yarology Post!



Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 1.04.14 PMRadio station KQAL program archives include interviews with several GRSF company members and other Festival information.