End of Season Volunteer Needs (2016)


FOH Volunteers Needed

July 22 update: There are several remaining Front of House openings for Ushers, Ticket Takers and Quilt Raffle Ticket Sellers.
Visit http://grsf.volunteerlocal.com to sign-up for additional volunteer positions.    

FOH volunteers are able to see the play if space is available. Email House Manager Samantha Heaver if you would like to be on an on-call list if there are last-minute cancellations.  HouseManager@grsf.org

Photo: FOW Margaret Kiihne visits with a raffle ticket buyer at a performance.

NEW! The season 13 MOVE OUT date is August 2.   Move out team members or other FOW who would like to help Company member bins be moved from East Lake to the Warehouse should contact Team Chair, Tom Hoffmann.

Use the link below to learn how to check your Front of House schedule
Volunteer Local Tips

Shakespeare Sewn With Love Winona Post, July 13, 2017.

Will Run.  Over 100 runners participated in the 3rd annual Will Run.   Thank you to the Friends of Will volunteers Leslie Albers, Shirley and Rick Twaddle, Tom Hoffman, Daryl Lanz who helped and Will Run chair, Dee Cipov.

FOW Helping Behind the Scenes

Tech Week Meals! Everyone is Happy. Thank you to the 40 GRSF hospital team members who kept company members were well fed during the hectic tech week rehearsals. Company members are always enjoy and appreciate the wonderful food; Friends of Will enjoy seeing them eat favorites such as the taco bar and turkey meals.   Team-Co chair Karin Worthley described ” a very nice connection between volunteers and the company.  The atmosphere is relaxed, happy and grateful. People who make food feel like they are feeding their guests.”  Thank you, Jim and Karin Worthley for creating another wonderful experience for so many.  It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

JohnBairdFun in the Costume GRSF costume shop. A small group of FOW helped with hand sewing and craft work in the costume shop throughout June. It’s a fun atmosphere! Sheila Cunningham said, “I love helping there; I’ve only missed one year of the 13 seasons.”

Photo: Crafts Artisan models a hat worn by Audrey in As You Like It.

Meet Samantha

House Manager Samantha Heaver graduated from WSU with a degree in Theater in 2013 and is a theatre instructor at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts. She previously worked in the GRSF box office

Thank you, Hospitality team (2016)

The Friends of Will Hospitality Team has again wowed GRSF Company members with  delicious and very much appreciated tech week meals.  There are a few meals to go! If you would like to join the team please contact Karin and Jim Worthley, team chairs!

Front of House Openings ~   Hire an Apprentice to help with summer chores!
Usher Training Handout

Up, Up and Away! Get Carried away with the Callithump Raffle Quilt.


Season 13 is almost here! (2016)

Up, Up and Away!
Get carried away with the Season 13 quilt!

Quilt2016The colorful 2016 quilt echoes the season’s central motif as represented in a ceramic mosaic designed by Lanesboro artist Bebe Benson. A hot air balloon, the Mississippi River, and Minnesota bluffs featured in the art quilt’s center are crafted from costume fabrics. The 12 star blocks surrounding the center represent the first twelve GRSF seasons. The hand appliqued 13th center block represents Season 13. Each star block features most of the same costume fabrics used in the balloon or hills; star points are made from quilting cottons to add stability. The completed art quilt is 74’ X 74” and can be used as a wall hanging or on a bed. The quilt winner will be drawn at the July 26 Callithump fundraiser.  All Friends of Will are invited to help make this Friends of Will project another success.  You can help in many ways! All raffle ticket income goes towards the continuing success of GRSF.

  1. Buy a raffle ticket. A $5.00 ticket is an easy and affordable way to contribute to the Festival’s  Development Fund
  2. Get tickets to sell to your friends and family.  Pick up tickets at the GRSF office.
  3. Sell raffle tickets in the performance lobby and at Concerts on the Green. Description:  Shifts begin a half hour before performances Tuesday evening  – all matinees.  Friday and Saturday evening shifts begin at 6:30 during at COG and continue in the lobby before the performance.  All shifts continue through intermission.  Ticket sellers should pick up their tickets in the box office 15 minutes before their shift begins.  Select a shift using  Volunteer Local

Hire an Apprentice  The GRSF apprentice actors are available to help you with household and yard chores throughout the season.   Read more. 

Usher Training Handout

Volunteer Local Tips

There are still a few openings for Front of House volunteers.  Be sure to visit often throughout the season as there may be additional openings.
Want to check your Front of House volunteer status?   Visit Volunteer Local; select check your status and enter your email address.  A list of what you have volunteered for will arrive in your email. You may also cancel a shift online.

Thank you, Move in/Move out Team

Thank you to Tom Hoffmann and the Move in/Move Out team members who helped GRSF company members move into the East Lake Apartments after their short-term stays in WSU dorms or private homes.

Front of House Scheduling, Hire an Apprentice (2016)

Hire an Apprentice

This summer we are so fortunate to have a very ambitious, talented group of Apprentices as part of our GRSF family! Similar to years past, there are a good handful of them that have made it to Winona on a shoe-string budget. In reinvigorating the Hire-an-Apprentice program, we hope that these ambassadors of the festival can go out into the community and earn some extra money for groceries, gas and maybe a little bit of fun while here in Winona. The rate of pay is $12.00 – $15.00 per hour. If you have any cleaning, yard work, or general labor that you’re looking for assistance with, please fill out this form and we will schedule an Apprentice to get it done! Thank you so much for your generosity. Note: Apprentices are only available to work on Mondays. However, Once they know the job they MAY be able to help anytime they have free hours. After your form is submitted Friends of Will Co-chair Terry Hawkings will match you and your request with an apprentice.  Click here Hire an Apprentice

Front of House Sign up

It’s the day you’ve all been waiting for: Usher Sign-Up for GRSF Season 13 is now available! Registration is live for all three professional productions As You Like ItJulius Caesar, and Georama, as well as the Front Porch Events and Apprentice/Intern Production of Coriolanus. We’re so grateful that our ushers share their time with us, and this season we want to make sure that all interested ushers get the opportunity to sign-up. Please only sign up for one or two shifts until May 25. After that, we’ll send another reminder to let you know it’s fine to sign up for more.

This year when you register with Volunteer Local, you’ll be asked to sign up for a training date. Usher training is mandatory this year, and all ushers must complete training prior to opening. Please contact Emily Kurash Emilyat emilyk@grsf.org with questions, or if you have a conflict with all the dates listed. Most importantly, stay tuned! There are additions that happen throughout the season, and we may have performances or events that get shifts added. Thank you so much for your time and effort, and we’ll see you in a few short weeks!
Emily Kurash, Director of Marketing

Costume Shop Needs Overcoats; Production would like a hardanger fiddle

The costume shop  is looking for classic men’s wool overcoats in neutral colors…grey, khaki, olive…maybe navy,  not black. They can be long or long car length.  They will also take all donations of overcoats, light overcoats, and trenchcoats.  Please bring to the GRSF office or contact Marci Franklin, GRSF  costume shop supervisor.    The Production team would like to borrow a hardanger fiddle to use in As You Like It.   Does anyone have one to loan?

Friends of Will Eau Claire

GRSF and the Friends of Will welcome our Eau Claire Friends. Chaired by GRSF fan Rozi Bejin, this new FOW group has organized several ways to support GRSF in Several Eau Claire Friends are working will work with hospitality team co-chairs Karin and Jim Worthley to help provide a meal to GFSF company members during tech week.   July 22 is the start of Eau Claire weekend at GRSF.   Eau Claire Friends Terre and Ken Sullivan have put together a bus trip to Winona for an afternoon of theatre and a Concert on the Green.   If you know people in the Eau Claire who may want to join the trip to Winona they can contact Terre or Ken @ sullivkt@charter.net

The Shakespeare Quilts: A GRSF Tradition on display at MMAM

The Callithump raffle quilts made by Friends of Will and  displayed in the theatre lobby since 2011 will be on display at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum June 22- July 31.   All quilts feature fabric used in costumes and vary in theme and style. Designs for some were inspired by season artwork and posters. This season’s very colorful wall-hanging sized art quilt features the hills, the river and a hot air balloon created from costume fabrics. Raffle tickets available when the season opens.

Thank you, Julie!  Welcome new FOW

julieJulie Fassbender, interim company manager will be turning over the reins to Catie Osborn late May. We want to thank Julie for her preparation for getting the company ready for Season 13.  Catie Osborn will be the Company Manager May 24.

FOW is a great way to meet people and get involved with The Great River Shakespeare Festival. New Friends of Will are always welcome.   We want to welcome our ten new friends; several are new to Winona.

GRSF Friends of Will Steering Committee

The Steering Committee meets regularly throughout the year to prepare for the coming season. Many thanks to these incredible volunteers for their wonderful gifts of time and talents.

Mary Alice Anderson: Co-Chair
Terry Hawkings: Co-Chair, Special Projects
Dee Cipov & Tracy Morgan: Distribution
Jean Hayes: Volunteer Liaison
Tom Hoffmann: Move-In/Out
Rev. Jim Nelson: Team Chariot (Transportation)
Gretchen Erwin-Front of House
Karin & Jim Worthley: Hospitality
Marsha Yancy: Recording Secretary


Season 13 Company Members were welcomed to Winona and introduced at the annual Company Meeting.



Front of House News, Celebrating Shakespeare’s Life (2016)

Front of House Scheduling
Front of House sign up will begin in early May. Mandatory training for all Front of House volunteers will be in May and  June. There will be at least two dates which will be announced later. Front of House positions are: Ushers, Ticket takers and Quilt raffle ticket sellers.

Donations still  welcome to restock company housing bins
The Company Manager has  most of the items needed to fill the apartment bins, but hand towels, potholders and washcloths are still needed. If you have gently used items to donate please bring them to the GRSF office.  Most items listed in the March 25  post (below) are in good-supply, but additional contributions are welcome for future needs.

A Celebration of William Shakespeare’s Life
William Shakespeare passed away in his home in Stratford-upon-Avon four hundred years ago this April 23rd. Please join Great River Shakespeare Festival in remembering this great man by celebrating his life on Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

Please join GRSF for a celebration of William Shakespeare’s life and 400th anniversary of his passing at the Hoff Celebration of Life Center, 3480 Service Drive in Winona, on Wednesday, April 20th from 5-7p.m. Together with event sponsors at Hoff, GRSF wishes to celebrate this significant anniversary and formally launch the Season 13 Campaign by toasting and reflecting on how much this great writer has meant in all of our lives. There will be music, food, drink, and birthday cake (since his birth and death day are the same date). Winona Poets Laureate past and present Emilio DeGrazia and Ken McCullough, GRSF Artistic Director Doug Scholz-Carlson, and others will be reading from their favorite Shakespeare works, sharing remembrances of the Bard, and how his work has touched their lives. There will be a chance for others in attendance to share their experiences as well. For more information on this event visit grsf.org or email leeg@grsf.org.

Getting ready for Season 13 (2016)

dont_forget_smallBookmark this permanent link for the FOW newsletter/blog! It’s always here. Updates are posted often during the season.

It’s that time of year when we get rid of stuff! (and donate it to GRSF)

Trenchcoats and overcoats.  The costume shop  is looking for classic men’s trench coats and wool overcoats in neutral colors…grey, khaki, olive…maybe navy,  not black. They can be long or long car length. Please bring to the GRSF office.
~ Thank you, Marci Franklin, GRSF  costume shop supervisor

BINSHousehold items.  The interim company manager is asking for donations of some basic kitchen items to help restock the apartment housing bins supplied to each apartment when the company arrives in May.   If you have something to donate please bring it to the GRSF Office on the corner of 3rd and Lafayette St.between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm weekdays by Friday April 8.  If we have extra items donated we will save these items to replace, and refill Company Bins in the future.
~ Thank you, Julie Fassbender, interim company manager

Dinner Plates (6) Small Dinner Plates (28)
Bowls (cereal size) (7) Coffee Cups (40)
Silverware Tray (15) Forks (set of 4) (3)
Knives (set of 4) 12 Sharp knives, big (12)
Sharp knives, smaller (7) Cutting Board (13)
Rubber spatula (7) Colander (17)
Can opener (26) Measure cup sets (20)
Measure spoons (21 Measure spoons (21)
Mixing Bowl, medium, large (22) Cooking pot, small (11)
Frying pan (medium) (3) Baking Pan (casserole) (4)
Cookie Sheet (23) Ice Cube Trays (3)
Pot holders (50) Wash clothes (140)
Kitchen towels (70) Floor lamps (17)

Do you like to cook?  Here’s a golden opportunity!

If feeding hungry, appreciative GRSF actors and crew members sounds like fun to you, here’s a golden opportunity. The hospitality team that provides good, healthy meals for those talented, hungry folks on long tech rehearsal days the last couple weeks in June is starting to assemble. We need food providers, cooks, hosts/servers, and clean up help for each meal. Please contact Jim and Karin Worthley,  507-474-4360 or  worthley@hbci.com with questions or to sign up.

Behind the Scenes with Friends of Will

IMG_0151Many FOW have been busy throughout the past months helping GRSF with projects and events. FOW have helped decorate the office windows for the Downtown Winona Holiday window contest, set up for the Valentine’s Bash at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, plan events, stuff envelopes for a mailing, and inventory the contents of the housing bins and create a quilt for the Callithump quilt raffle.

Would you like to be involved?  If you would like to assist with off-season events please contact Friends of Will Steering Committee co- chairs Mary Alice Anderson
(maryalicea@mac.com) or Terry Hawkings (terryhawkings@hotmail.com )

Friends of Will Team leaders meet monthly to plan and stay in touch with GRSF staff. Team Leaders and FOW Steering Committee members are:

Mary Alice Anderson: Co-Chair, Communications
Terry Hawkings: Co-Chair, Special Projects
Dee Cipov & Tracy Morgan: Distribution Team
Jean Hayes: Volunteer Liaison, Hospitality
Tom Hoffmann: Move-In/Out Crew
Rev. Jim Nelson: Team Chariot (Transportation)
Judy Rusert and Gretchen Erwin-Front of House Team Coordinators
Karin & Jim Worthley: Hospitality
Marsha Yancy: Recording Secretary

shakespeare_book_smallWant to learn more about Shakespeare?

Will Power.  Can’t Kill Bill: 400 years after his death William Shakespeare has Kept his Cool. (Star Tribune, March 27, 2016)

How did people die in Shakespeare’s plays? This chart explains.
Can you identify the play or person?

Shakespeare Documented is an  Exhibition of documents related to Shakespeare.   The exhibit hosts manuscripts, books, plays and more from the Folger Shakespeare Library, Bodleian Library, the British Library, The National Archives, and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.



Thank you Friends of Will for your contributions throughout Season 12 (2015)


Over 200 active Friends of Will contributed 3800 volunteer hours to the Great River Shakespeare Festival throughout Season 12. Front of House volunteers, the FOW in black and white who work at each performance, are the largest and most visible FOW team. Other teams worked behind the scenes providing Festival support, Company support, and Community outreach throughout the season and calendar year. The large hospitality team prepared and served very much appreciated meals to the company during June tech week. Other teams provided assistance in capacities such as transportation and housing, distributing Festival brochures, assisting in the costume shop, creating the raffle quilt, helping at events, helping with special projects such as building the Steamboat Days float and communicating within the Friends of Will and with the company. The Friends of Will volunteer organization has over 300 members including many new members who volunteered for the first time in 2015, and Friends of Will-Rochester. Calculated at the Corporation for National and Community Service hourly wage ($24.83) for Minnesota, the Friends of Will contribution is more than $90,000.00.

Read the complete report

Thank you from Lee Gundersheimer and Doug Scholz-Carlson

In my two years of working at GRSF, nothing yanks harder at my heartstrings than working with our volunteers in FOW. Whether it is building a float with Bob Hawkings, serving meals with the Worthleys and many others, attending board meetings with Terry Hawkings, watching the work of the quilters led by Mary Alice Anderson, seeing Rev Jim pull up with another car load of company members, Judy Rusert tirelessly guiding some new ushers, Jean Hayes sudukoing a schedule of serving food, the mover and shaker Tom Hoffman, Dee Cipov gathering the troops to Will Run or to poster up the region- you name it, and I have had the pleasure of witnessing the hard work across countless areas being carried out with such expertise and ability it often brings tears to my eyes.

And here I am with the chance to say a bit of thanks. How does one show the gratitude for all that the FOW accomplish? How can one thank each of you enough for making this festival possible, year after year? How can one possibly say enough for the many tireless years of outstanding service from Terry Hawkings? She embodies so much of the simple dignity, passion, joy, and discipline that are the key ingredients of our volunteer spirit. She has co-chaired for several years and has assured us she is still ready to roll up her sleeves and contribute as co-chair and in other roles. Each of us that have had the pleasure of collaborating with her understands just what she means to GRSF and to Winona itself.

I deal in numbers a great deal in my job, both quantifiable and those not as easy to pin down. Simply put, $90,000 this year is what the FOW saved GRSF, if you use the government statistic for counting the cost of their service. But truly, we who work in the arts know this is not an easily countable sum. It is impossible to say what the FOW actually add, but I will leave it to Shakespeare, who has a way with words, to sum up what might be at the heart of all in our beloved FOW.  Their spirit to forever pitch in to build a better Festival (and perhaps a bit of essential madness- if one factors in the original quoted context) is at the heart of Ophelia’s lines from Hamlet: We know what we are now, but know not what we may be.”   ~ Lee Gundersheimer, Managing Director
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Great River Shakespeare Festival exists thanks to the generosity of our community. Nowhere is that more clear than in the generosity of the Friends of Will. Thank you for giving the most precious thing you have to GRSF: your time.

While it is easy to quantify how much money your donation of time is worth to GRSF, the Friends of Will give something even more important. You create our community. At its heart, the Great River Shakespeare Festival exists to bring us together, to challenge us with great plays, and to spark the conversations that make our community our home. The Friends of Will lead the way in helping our community engage with GRSF in a meaningful way.

The Friends of Will meals during tech week certainly brighten the day for a weary company and saves money for GRSF, but they also cement the bond between the patrons and the artists, the volunteers, the paid staff and everyone else who is part of the company of the Great River Shakespeare Festival. It matters when our patrons are welcomed into the theater by an usher who truly loves the plays. It matters when our out of town company members are met at the airport by someone who values the their work. It matters when the rest of the community comes to an event and sees people they know giving their time to a cause they believe in.

We couldn’t do this work without the Friends of Will. Logistically and financially, it just wouldn’t be possible. But maybe more importantly, without you, without our community, we wouldn’t want to. Thank you for all you do.
~ Doug Scholz-Carlson, Artistic Director

Friends of Will Annual Reports

Letter to the Editor (Winona Daily News)