Thank you, Friends of Will

Many of you worked with the Hospitality Team bringing wonderful meals to the company during the hectic tech week.  100 Friends of Will greeted and assisted patrons as Front of House ushers, ticket takers or at the concession stand. Many other FOW worked behind the scenes providing transportation to and from area airports, hosting company members during the early housing period, helping them move in and out of their apartments, or distributing  Festival brochures throughout Winona and the region.  Your work is sincerely and gratefully appreciated by Great River Shakespeare Festival staff and company members.

Select the link below to view a delightful  video thank you from the Apprentice Acting Company.

Thank you, Friends of Will

Friends-of-Will-logoThe Friends of Will leadership team welcomes new steering committee members. We are inviting other FOW to become part of the leadership team.  If you want to learn more about this fun and rewarding leadership opportunity, please contact Mary Alice Anderson, FOW Steering Committee chair.  You may also contact other team leaders or Aaron or Eileen at the GRSF office.  While you are at the office enjoy the ghosts of King Richard’s victims.

ghosts - 1






Creative Dramatics for Grownups

Finally an acting class for adults!

Have you ever wondered what goes into making a play come to life, or how actors begin their training? Would you consider trying (testing?) out your own talents? Would you enjoy playing fun, interactive dramatic games and exercises? This evening is open to anyone: novices, experts, shy folk, public speakers, teachers, retirees and anyone that wants to laugh. Participation is always optional creating a safe space to explore the dramatic arts.
Kacie Mixon instructor
Fee: $20 for a one hour sessionTo learn more and to register , please follow this link.

Will Run & Front of House volunteers needed, Hire an Apprentice (June 30)

Help with the 4th annual Will Run,  July 16th 

Will Run is the only 28-Furlong Race (that we know of) in existence.   Volunteers are needed to help support the run and the runners as they run or walk around beautiful Lake Winona.
Details and schedule
~ When: July 16, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.
~ Where: Begins at Lake Park Bandshell in Winona, and the track follow the path around the big lake.
~ 2 volunteers are needed for each position

  • Route Safety  –  Washington Street, 7:50 am
  • Route Safety  –  Huff Street, 7:50 am
  • Route Direction/cheerleading!  –  Curve by Hospital  –  8 am
  • Route Direction/cheerleading!  –  Curve by bridge  –  8 am
  • Route Direction/cheerleading!  –  Stay on bike path by tennis courts  –  8 am
  • Route Safety  –  Hamilton Street  –  8 am
  • Route Safety  –  Franklin Street  –  8 am

All volunteers are invited and encouraged to come for donuts, bagels, coffee… at the Bandshell after the last runner/walker goes by your station!!  Hats are provided for race participants as part of the race packet this year. Volunteers can purchase a hat for $10.00 just below actual cost!    To help and join the fun contact: Dee Cipov,
Or, register for the race. This is your chance for a personal best! Run 28 Furlongs (about the length of a 5K) with the GRSF Company and community

Front of House Openings
There are some open spots for ushers and ticket takers.  Visit Volunteer Local to sign up and check for openings. There may be last minute openings as people cancel. Sign up for a position at
Questions? Contact Sheri Grossardt, Front of House Team Co-Leader

Front of House Training Materials

Hire an Apprentice
We have apprentices who are interested in working and patrons who are interested in hiring apprentices. If any Friends of Will have a job for an apprentice, please contact Valerie Williams, GRSF Education Director.   Email her your name, phone number, email, and a brief description of the work involved. She will share this information with the Apprentices. It will be up to the Apprentice to make contact with the FOW if they are interested in working. Jobs can be emailed to

Front of House Training Materials

Front of House training materials
These files are provided by the Performance Front of House Manager and the GRSF Audience Services Manger.  The PDF files include helpful information and contact information.

GRSF Preshow and Emergency Procedures

About the shows 2017

Instructions for Ushers

Thank you, Hospitality Team

GRSF company members love the Friends of Will Hospitality Team!  Special thank yous to Karin and Jim Worthley, team chairs, and Terry Hawkings who planned the menus and organized these very much appreciated tech week meals for hard-working company members. If you would like to help contact Karin or Jim. There are more meals ahead. And, thank yoiu to Steak Shop Catering for supplying a steam table, salad bar and commercial refrigerator, and to the many Friends of Will who are hosting each of the meals.

thanks_smallerThankyouFOW - 1 (1)ThankyouFOW eating

Usher Training, volunteer openings, June 2017

Front of House Training: June 14 or 15
New ushers and ticket takers are strongly encouraged to attend Front of House Training June 14, 6:30 PM or June 15, 1:00 PM at the WSU Performing Arts Center. Returning Front of House volunteers who would like a refresher are also invited to attend. WSU Campus Map

Front of House volunteer openings
There are remaining open Front of House positions, especially in July. Select Volunteer Local to sign up for a position.  There may be cancellations or additional positions added so heck for openings throughout the season. If you would like to be on a waiting list please contact, Sharon Grossardt, Front of House Team Co-Leader

Volunteer Local Tips
To review your volunteer positions go to Volunteer Local.   Select the check your status link;  enter your email address.  A list of what you have volunteered for will arrive in your email.




You can also cancel a shift online.


Costume Shop and Hospitality Volunteer Opportunities
The  costume shop welcomes new people who would like to help with some hand sewing. The shop is located in Valencia Hall on the Cotter/St. Mary’s Campus at the corner of Villa and Howard.  Contact: Stephanie Jones, Shop hours are
Tuesday-Thursday 9-6; Friday 9-5; Saturday10-6; Sunday 10-4; Lunch is 12:30-1:30.

Thank you to knitters at Yanrology including FOW Amanda Bauer, Jennifer Georgieff , and Blandine Berthelot for knitting chainmail cowls and sleeves for Richard III costumes. GRSF actor Stephanie Lambourn models a cowl.

The Hospitality team welcomes new cooks and hosts to help with June tech week meals.  Menus for June 13 – 18  are in the Doodles below.  Select a doodle to “sign up”; Contact Karin or Jim Worthley to help with the Hospitality/Food Team.  It’s fun and a great way to interact with other FOW and GRSF company members.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Pasta Bar, Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Roast Ham and Turkey Dinner, Friday, June 16, 2017
Baked Potato Bar, Saturday, June 17, 2017


The team needs containers for leftovers.   If you have some to get rid of please deliver them to the “food room,” 103 Minne Hall on the WSU campus.

More photos of Season 14 in progress
Instagram including the including the one above that shows off Stephanie Lamborn, Rebecca Bernstein’s costume design, and the chain mail knitted by Aaron Young and the volunteers at Yarnology.


Season 14 (2017) Volunteer Opportunities

May 16 addition: Hire an Apprentice

We have apprentices who are interested in working and patrons who are interested in hiring apprentices. If any Friends of Will have a job for an apprentice, please contact Valerie Williams, GRSF Education Director.   Email her your name, phone number, email, and a brief description of the work involved. She will share this information with the Apprentices. It will be up to the Apprentice to make contact with the FOW if they are interested in working. Jobs can be emailed to

May 15: The news you have been waiting for!


Summer 2017 volunteer opportunities, (Front of house, knitting and more!)  FOW behind the scenes, meet the FOW team leaders and new GRSF Front of House staff.

Friends of Will can now sign up for specific Front of House volunteer positions.   Please read the information below before using Volunteer Local.

  • Season 14 opens June 21; closing is July 30.
  • Front of House positions include ushering ticket taking and accessibility assistance.
  • We are asking people to be flexible with the jobs. For instance, an accessibility usher may be asked to help with tickets in the lobby for a portion of their shift depending on how many accessibility tickets have been sold for that performance or if who is taking tickets some may need help.
  • We may add shifts as the season progresses.
  • Dress code is a SOLD WHITE TOP and a SOLID BLACK BOTTOM.
  • Because Callithump is a fundraiser FOH volunteers are asked to purchase a ticket if they wish to stay for the performance.
  • If you have not volunteered for more than 2 years or are a new volunteer please complete the FOW registration form. There is no need to register if you volunteered in any capacity in 2015 or 2016.
  • Training for new ushers/ticket takers and for returning Front of House volunteers
    who would like a refresher will be June 14, 6:30 PM and June 15, 1:00 PM at the WSU Performing Arts Center
  • Front of House volunteers will also be working with Front of House Manager Kayleen Berwick (left) and GRSF Marketing and Sales Manager Eileen Moeller

A recent graduate from Winona State, Kayleen  has enjoyed working with the arts and volunteers in a number of roles throughout her education.  Originally from Illinois, she is looking forward to another Minnesota summer and a great season with GRSF! Eileen is a 2010 graduate of the WSU Theatre & Dance Department, and ecstatic to return to GRSF as a full-time staff member after interning in 2007. She recently moved back to Winona from her hometown in Elgin, IL. She lives in Winona with her husband and many pets. 

FRONT OF HOUSE QUESTIONS?  Contact  Gretchen Erwin, Friend of Will Front of Volunteers House Chair


Do you like to knit?

The GRSF costume shop supervisor is looking for knitters who could  make chainmail for Richard III.  They are making 6 cowls and 4 sets of arms. Contact Stephanie Jones


Behind the Scenes

Many Friends of Will have been helping behind the scenes providing early housing, picking up arriving company members at area airports, and helping them move into their apartments, preparing food for the spring preview weekend, and helping with mailings. The hospitality team chairs are planning meals for the busy tech week rehearsal schedule; distribution team members are busy delivering brochures and posters throughout the region.  Contact a team chair if you have questions or would like to help more!


In the News

GRSF Recognizes Volunteers at Bard, Beer and Birthday
Winona Daily News, April 24, 2017


FOW Team Leaders

Please contact Mary Alice Anderson, FOW Steering Committee chair or a team chair: Tom Hoffmann, Move-In/Out; Patti Neal,Distribution; Rev. Jim Nelson: Transportation; Gretchen Erwin & Sharon Grossardt; Front of House; Brenda Terpstra, Volunteer Liaison/membership; Karin & Jim Worthley, HospitalityFood Team.


Back: Tom Hoffman, Gretchen Erwin, Jim Nelson Jim Worthley. Front: Marsha Yancy, Patti Neal, Brenda Terpstra, Karin Worthley, Mary Alice Anderson, Leslie Albers