Michigan’s oldest and largest Shakespeare Festival is ready for a new season at Grand Valley with a full line-up of events from September 23-November 5.
The Festival’s 18th season begins with a free public performance of the popular touring show, Bard to Go: Lovestruck September 23, at 2 p.m. in Room 1506, Performing Arts Center, Allendale Campus. The production is a 50-minute collage that explores the complications of falling in love, using scenes from The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and other popular Shakespeare plays. Geared for touring to area secondary schools, this lively production will be performed in early October in the Bahamas, by invitation as part of a “Shakespeare in Paradise” program, then return to West Michigan to tour area schools. For school scheduling information, contact Katherine Mayberry at firstname.lastname@example.org. A final public performance is scheduled for November 5, at 1 p.m. in Loosemore Auditorium, on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus. It will be preceded by an awards ceremony showcasing the winners of the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival Annual Student Competition, which features performing, literary and visual arts.
Guest Scholar-in-Residence Dennis Kennedy will give a free public presentation, “Shakespeare and Globalized Performance,” September 30, at 4 p.m. in the Pere Marquette Room, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus. Preceding the presentation is a 3 p.m. reception to welcome back the internationally known theater scholar and practitioner who taught for more than a decade at Grand Valley, beginning in 1970. He was also co-founder of Stage 3 in Grand Rapids. Kennedy is Beckett Professor of Drama Emeritus at Trinity College Dublin and has held positions as a distinguished visiting professor at universities from Berlin to Beijing. A member of the Royal Irish Academy and Academia Europe, he also has worked as a playwright and dramaturg, given lectures and acting workshops.
September 30 also is opening night of Twelfth Night, the Festival Mainstage production, at 7:30 p.m. in the Louis Armstrong Theatre, Performing Arts Center, Allendale Campus. This classic comedy, set on the Adriatic coast, is a tale of mistaken identity and jovial indulgence. It features Viola, who after being shipwrecked, is reunited with her twin brother, but not before love, mistaken identity, and confusion ensue! Additional performances are October 1, 6, 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m. and matinees October 1, 2 and 9, at 2 p.m. Sign language interpretation will be available at the October 6 performance. A pre-show discussion at 6:45 p.m. will precede the September 30 and October 8 performances, featuring dramaturg Jo Miller, Grand Valley professor of English.
During Grand Valley’s Shakespeare Festival, the popular Renaissance Faire returns October 1-2, to the “greensward” near the Cook Carillon Tower, Allendale Campus. This family-friendly event provides a variety of outdoor entertainment throughout the day.
For more event information or to purchase Twelfth Night tickets online, visit www.gvsu.edu/shakes. Twelfth Night tickets, $6 students, $12 faculty, staff and seniors, and $14 general admission, are also available in person or by calling the Performing Arts Center Box Office at (616) 331-2300.