Heartland Festival to return for 15th year

May 27, 2015
Heartland Festival 2015 Poster

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Heartland Festival will return for its 15th year, under the leadership of Dr. Ann Dillon Farrelly, artistic director and associate professor of theatre at UW-Platteville, and Michael Breitner, managing director and director of arts facilities and series at UW-Platteville.

The Heartland Festival has been a part of UW-Platteville’s tradition of providing arts and cultural activities and events to Platteville and the tri-state area. Since its inception, thousands of people have attended Heartland Festival productions. More than 3,900 tickets were sold for the 2014 Heartland Festival productions.

“While the Heartland Festival has been a Platteville staple for the last 15 years, recent events have left the future of this beloved festival uncertain,” said Farrelly. “It is very possible that this summer may be the festival’s last.”

Breitner and Farrelly said that audience members of all ages will love the 2015 Heartland Festival’s engaging, enlightening and entertaining performances.

The festival will be eight weeks long, as it was last season, with two musicals running consecutively. Instead of a cabaret show, there will be a Cabaret Night on July 24. Missoula Children’s Theatre will return.

The first show of the 2015 season, Jason Robert Brown’s “The Last Five Years,” will run from June 12-28. Directed by Farrelly, the show is a two-person musical exploring a failed relationship in an unconventional way. One character’s timeline is told in chronological order and the other character’s is told in reverse. “For Cathy, the beginning of the musical marks the end of the relationship,” said Farrelly. “For Jamie, it is the beginning of their love story. Watching Cathy go from despair to hope and Jamie from hope to despair creates an interesting and unusual experience for the audience.” Dairy Queen in Platteville will provide ice cream cakes for the opening night.

The second show of the season, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s “Mary Poppins,” will run from July 10-26. The show is also directed by Farrelly and choreographed by Connie SaLoutos Furlan, who teaches public speaking and theatre courses at UW-Platteville. “It is an uplifting story about a beloved character, and the Heartland team is looking forward to bringing it to life,” said Farrelly.

Missoula Children’s Theatre will perform “Rapunzel” on July 17 and 18. Children participating in the show auditioned for a part and were cast in a role. They will rehearse for one week and then perform in the show. “Parents and grandparents alike enjoy watching their students perform on the big stage,” said Breitner. “It’s great fun for all involved.”

Lizzie Hansen will return as musical director, Jeffrey Strange as the scenic designer and Sarah Strange as the costume designer. “I think that audiences will enjoy both of the shows,” said Breitner. “We’re pulling out the stops for this Heartland Festival.”

For more information, contact the University Box Office at 608-342-1298 or tickets.uwplatt.edu.

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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