Great River Shakespeare Festival announces weekend opening | Arts and Entertainment

The Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) opens the 2022 season this week with three consecutive nightly performances at the Winona State University Performing Arts Center in Winona. The season is sponsored by Winona State University and made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota Council of the Arts Operational Support Grant through Legislative Appropriations from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Foundation.

Shakespeare’s delightful comedy Twelfth Night will open the festivities on Friday, July 1 at 7:00 pm under the masterful direction of Beth Gardiner (formerly The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and GRSF’s Servant of Two Masters). ”), “Twelfth Night” promises to be a magical and fun evening of love and longing, misidentification, sword fighting and drunken fun. Twelfth Night is sponsored by Merchants Bank.

On Saturday, July 2, at 7:00 p.m., Carlisle Brown’s powerful play The African Company Presents Richard III, directed by returning festival favorite Corey Allen (TV series Mindhunter, Madam Secretary), will open. When the first black theater group in the country, the African Company of New York, put on a production of Richard III, a suburban theater impresario, threatened by their success, set about closing the competition. This visually stunning production is not to be missed. The Africa Company Presents Richard III is sponsored by Therne and is an anonymous tribute to John and Janet.

To round out the weekend, “Always…Patsy Cline” opens Sunday, July 3rd at 7pm hosted by Braxton Ray. Brittany Proya (GRSF’s The Tempest) plays Patsy Cline, alongside longtime cast member Tara Flanagan as Cline’s superfan Louise Seger. “Always…Patsy Cline” tells the true story of Louise’s chance encounter with a country music legend that sparked a friendship filled with shared experiences as working mothers in the early 1960s. Filled with rustic humor, heartfelt emotion and even some audience participation, the musical performance features many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as “Crazy”, “I Fall to Pieces”, “Sweet Dreams” and “Walking After Midnight”. “Always…Patsy Kline” is sponsored by Char and Bill Carlson and Katie and Dave Christenson.

Performances run on a rolling schedule until July 31st. Watch all three and save your season pass for three plays. The festival also offers activities, talks, ice cream encounters and more. Full information and tickets are available on the website. grsf.org or call 507-474-7900.


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