Midwest Living Review
Shakespeare. Expertly performed by members of a professional acting company. It's amazing to find something of this caliber in small-town Winona, so take advantage of it if you're near during the festival's six-week run. We've been attending Shakespearean productions annually for the past 25 years at American Players Theater in Spring Green, Wisconsin, which is nationally recognized for its quality. APT's plays are performed in an outdoor setting much like Shakespeare intended. In comparison, we weren't sure we'd like Winona's because it is inside and APT is so good. We were surprised.The festival began in 2004 to much acclaim, and has been growing ever since. Initially, the event offered two Shakespearean performances, along with a third by the group's affiliated Intern/Apprentice Company. In 2010, a third, non-Shakespeare performance joined the lineup. Performances are held in Winona State University's Performing Arts Center.In addition to the theater productions, the festival includes special events such as free prelude concerts, during which local and regional musicians play on the green outside the theater; lectures; and a special coffee hour at a local cafe, during which visitors can chat with members of the company.Tickets are quite reasonable, at roughly $15 to $37, with special $10 Tuesdays productions.