Front of House Needs you! Hire an Apprentice & a lovely Thank You Note

There are several Front of House positions for the remaining performances. These include general main stage and Black Box ushering and ticket taking, helping with concessions,  and ushering or ticket taking for the  Shakespeare for Young Actors, Designers and Film Marker  presentations Sunday Evening, July 29.  See  Volunteer Local for specifics.

Need help around your House?  The Hire an Apprentice program  helps the apprentices — and they will help you!  Erwin and Damien did a great job getting rid of dead branches and doing a little inside cleaning. Erwin_Damien - 1.jpg

A beautiful thank you note from  Actor Melissa Maxwell.

Dear Friends of Will,  Just wanted to take a moment to THANK YOU !!! for all the wonderful things you do, from the airport runs to the delicious tech meals and so much more in between.  Words cannot really express my gratitude for all that you do on our behalf.  Most of all, I am thankful to have met you and to have the opportunity to get to know you.  That is a real treat indeed. Many thanks, Melissa Maxwell Thank you note image

Great review of GRSF in Minneapolis area press


Need help around your home?

Hire an Apprentice

Need help with a project, yard work or an odd job? The GRSF Apprentices are here to help! Email Company Manager, Victoria Esquibell at or call her at 817-975-2514 with a job description, amount of people needed, payment, and contact info. The GRSF Apprentices will receive this information and contact you directly!

Victoria Esquibell | Company Management

Front of House

There are several remaining Front of House volunteer openings for the last part of July and early August.   Please register through  Volunteer Local.

You may check your volunteer status at any time directly with Volunteer Local.

Early July Notes

It’s high season for GRSF! As we head into week 3 there are several remaining volunteer opportunities.

July 12Front of House training for new ushers, concession workers and ticket takers who did not attend the June training sessions.  Returning Front of House volunteers are also welcome to attend. There are a few new things you will need to know.

There are several Front of House positions open for the remainder of July-August 5.  Registration for July 12 Training and Front of House shifts

If you need to change or cancel a shift within 24 hours of your shift please contact Sharon Grossardt or Gretchen Erwin, Front of House team leaders.

The Friends of Will team leaders and GRSF staff are very appreciative all the Friends do for the Festival. You stepped up to help and expanded season with tech week meals, transportation, early housing, Will Run, and as the face of the festival for patrons.

You want won’t to miss A Festival of THE PEOPLE on p. 19 of the season program. It’s a lovely tribute to the Friends of Will.

This early July news, photos, links and more FOW notes are always available at GRSF.WORDPRESS.COM

Season 15 opens June 22

There are many remaining Front of House openings starting early July. Positions are ushering, taking ticket, and working at the concession stand while the Apprentice actors are performing A Merchant of Venice. There are also openings to help with Will Run (July 15, early morning only) and a link to register for July 12 Front of House Training.  This training is suggested for those unable to attend the previous sessions. New Friends of Will are especially encouraged to attend.   Details:  FOH Training, Thursday, July 12, 1:30 – 2:45 pm, Room 224, WSU Performing Arts Center.

??? When am I working?    Select Volunteer Local to check your status; enter your email address.  A list of what you have volunteered for will arrive in your email.  StatusCheck
Download 2018 Front of House Guidelines for ushers and ticket takers


Thank you to 50 FOW who are helping with Tech Week meals, the 75 FOW who attended Front of House Training, and to FOW who helped in the costume shop.
What a wonderful group of volunteers!

Preview week and Shakespeare for Young Actors-1
Slide Show: Hospitality team members with happy, hungry GRSF Company members

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Preview Week, Shakespeare for Young Actors 1

Preview Performances
Season 15 opens June 22 with a preview performance of Shakespeare in Love. Previews continue through June 28 and a wonderful opportunity for FOW to get an early start and spread the word to friends and family. All performances are Pay what you Will. More information.

Shakespeare for Young Actors  GRSF Managing Director   is asking the Friends of Will to help spread the word to friends and family that there is room in the Shakespeare for Young Actors 1 workshop.   SYA- 1 is for first-time Shakespeare students from those entering 7th grade through those who have recently graduated high school. The two-week program is July 17 – 29. Classes are Tuesdays – Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.   A final public presentation os Sunday, July 29, 7 p.m. Tuition is $350 with scholarship money available. Aaron said d his daughter took the class last year. Loved it. Students have a great time in class, they form great relationships, AND get unlimited free admission to the festival performances from the start of classes through the end of the festival.   The instructors this year are Benjamin Boucvalt and his wife Valerie. Both are excellent instructors who fully understand both the theater and the film industry and are expert in connecting kids with this art form and helping them learn more about themselves in the process. Registration and more information is available at



Help Build a Doublet a Day: June news for Friends of Will

The GRSF company and staff are in high gear getting ready for an exciting season.  Friends of Will can help in many ways.

Help the costume shop build a doublet a day!

Costume shop supervisor Stephanie Jones said We can use all the help we can get this year. Starting Thursday, May 31. With 4 shows opening before the end of June, the needs are enormous! Things you may be asked to do . . .
– Hand sewing, snaps, buttons, and labels, trim.
– Alterations or sewing a costume if you are comfortable with a sewing machine
– Painting, jewelry making
Shop hours: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm. Tuesday – Saturday.  New  location: WSU Performing Arts Center, Room 124. Please park in the purple lot east of the Performing Arts Center. (Summer patron parking lot). Just drop by to offer your help Stephanie Jones, the shop supervisor will help you get started.

Tech Week Meals

Hops3Hospitality team chairs, Jim and Karin Worthley, along with assistance from Company Manager Victoria Esquibell have planned another series of delicious tech week meals. If you have not helped in the past but would like to help this season contact (Ph: 507-474-4360) for details about specific needs, amounts and dietary restrictions.

Shakespeare in Love
Sat, 6/9: 4:00-6:00 pm (Taco & Taco Salad bar)
Sun, 6/10: 4:00-6:00 pm (Pulled Pork sandwiches)
Tues, 6/12: 4:00-6:00 pm (Noodle, Rice, Grain Bowls)

Midsummer Night’s Dream
Thurs, 6/14: 4:00-6:00 pm (Taco &Taco Salad bar!
Friday 6/15: 4:00-6:00 pm (Baked Potato Bar & more)
Sat, 6/16: 4:00-6:00 pm (Picnic Time – Brats, etc.)

All’s Well That Ends Well
Tues, 6/19: 4:00-6:00 pm (Late Brunch)
Wed, 6/20: 4:00-6:00 pm (Noodle, Rice, Grain Bowls)
Thurs, 6/2: 4:00-6:00 pm (Pot Luck)

Usher and Ticket Taker Training

Thursday June 14 – 6:30 pm
OR Friday June 15 – 1:30 pm
WSU Performing Arts Center, Room 224

Training is highly recommended for new Front of House volunteers
or for or those Beccwho have not ushered during the past year. Others are encouraged to attend as there are some changes and new guidelines are in place.
Pre Registration
is appreciated!
Many Front of House positions are unfilled, especially in July.  Becca Borchardt, Front of House manager will provide training.

Exciting and new!

  • Banners and signs throughout the campus featuring the new logo
  • A satellite box office and gift shop with many new items at the Winona Visitor Center on Huff Street starting June 1. The downtown box office and Performing Arts Center box office before performances remains open. (PAC office open 90 minutes prior to performances.)
  • Pay what you will previews are June 22-28. Bring your friends; help spread the word. There are two preview performances for each show.
  • Music and food on the green before every performance
  • There are 23 dual performance times (performance in both the Dorothy Magnus Black Box Theater and Vivian Fusillo Main Stage Theater.)   This means more volunteer opportunities for Friends of Will. Front of House Volunteer openings
  • Be watching for some fun public advertising!



Welcome to Season 15

The Friends of Will team leaders are thrilled to be working with our many dedicated volunteers and especially want to welcome new Friends of Will.  Team leaders are busy behind the scenes preparing for this special anniversary season. The Early House chair found homes for 14 people and two cats with welcoming volunteer hosts.  The Move in team will soon be delivering housing supplies to the East Lake apartments;; Team Chariot people will be picking up company members at area airports, and the Front of House co-chairs have created hundreds of volunteer positions for ushers and ticket takers. Exciting!

Front of House

Sign up for Front of House (FOH) positions opens May 14.  There are more performances this year and the season is longer, which means GRSF needs you! Volunteers will also be able to sign up to help with concessions during the Apprentice production and to help with the Will Run Race.   Season calendar

FOH Training

  • Thursday June 14 – 6:30 pm
  • Friday  June 15 – 1:30 pm
  • Refresher training session on Thursday July 12th at 1:30 pm

Becca Borchadt, Front of House Manager, will provide the training. Becca worked in the GRSF box office during the 2017 season. Training will be at the WSU, Performing Arts Center.

Hospitality Team Tech Week

The hospitality team will once again be providing meals to company members during the busy tech week.  Nine meals will be provided  June 9 – 27.   This is a fun opportunity to feed and get to know company members who are very appreciative of the wonderful meals and people who provide them.   The hospitality team needs new members. If you would like to join the please contact Victoria Esquibell, Company Manger.   

Help with Will Run – Sunday July 15

I go, I go – swifter than the arrow from the Tartar’s bow!”
Puck, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

15 volunteers are needed on race day from 7:00 am. – 9:30 am. Volunteers need to be able to stand or bring a chair, stop/direct traffic, give directions to the runners/walkers, etc.  Some may be asked to use a stopwatch to some to call out times, and of course cheer people on throughout the race!  It is really an enjoyable morning.  The weather is almost always great and there are awards. Company members often run and it is fun to see them in a different atmosphere.   Select Volunteer Local to sign-up.   Questions? Contact Pearson-Langowski.

Help spread the word with the distribution team

The FOW Distribution Team would appreciate your help in placing Season 15 brochures and posters throughout our region, wherever potential theatre goers might be found. Just stop by places where people gather or information is shared – like coffee shops, community centers, bulletin boards, libraries, etc. – and ask if we can leave some brochures or put up a poster. If you can help, please stop by the GRSF office to pick up some brochures and/or posters. Out-of-Winona volunteers can contact Leslie Albers  or Mary Alice Anderson  to arrange for materials. The 2018 company is in town and starting their work, so let’s do our best to fill the theatre with audiences.

More to know. . . .

The GRSF Employee, Contractor, & Volunteer Policy Handbook has information on costumer service, safety and a few other items of interest to Friends of Will. Click the link to view the manual. It is also linked in the section of this blog.

New volunteers are always welcome. Please share the registration form with people who might like to  Join the Friends of Will.   FOW who have not volunteered for two or more years should also use the form to we have your current contact information and you’re your areas of interest.   Volunteer Local is used only for specific Front of House or Will Run positions.

Friends of Will Team Leaders

Mary Alice Anderson: Chair, Communications
Leslie Albers: Distribution
Tom Hoffmann: Move-In/Out
Rev. Jim Nelson: Transportation
Gretchen Erwin & Sharon Grossardt; Front of House
Mary Polus: Early Housing
Brenda Terpstra: Volunteer Liaison
Karin & Jim Worthley: Hospitality Food Team.  Contact: Victoria Esquibell, Company Manager and Acting Chair
Marsha Yancy: Recording Secretary

Visit GRSF.WORDPRESS. COM throughout the season for news and updates about how you can help our Great River Shakespeare Festival!