Pioneer Players entertain UWP community for over 50 years

December 4, 2008

PLATTEVILLE- Each year, approximately 3,000 people see theatrical productions put on by the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Players. The group exists to entertain, learn new theatrical skills and promote the theater.

Pioneer Players will put on six shows this year. The remaining shows are "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare, "The Laramie Project" by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project, "Thoroughly Modern Millie" by Dick Scanlan and Richard Morris, and the "One Act Festival".

Everything is done by the students and two faculty advisors, Ann Farrelly and David Schuler, both professors of theater. Each show is a three-month process that begins with production meetings. Students then design and produce costumes, sets and lighting. Rehearsals are held for three hours a day, five days a week and last five to eight weeks. Students spend additional time outside of rehearsal memorizing lines and working on sets and costumes.

"You have to love theater or you won't be able to do it. It requires a lot of time and energy and people quickly realize that. It's real work," said Farrelly.

Added Amanda Valiquette, vice president of Pioneer Players, "(I love theater so much) I don't know what to do when I'm not rehearsing or performing."

Pioneer Players is open to all majors as are auditions. Auditions for spring shows will be held the week of Dec. 8. Being part of the group allows students to experience every aspect of the theater from acting to stage management. They can also earn class credit for being part of the productions. Each monthly meeting consists of a workshop where members learn something new about theater whether it's mask making or résumé writing.

"It prepares us (for a career in theater) by giving us experience. We get to be involved in all aspects of a show. It gives us the opportunity to see what we want to pursue," said Tiffany Hess, president of Pioneer Players.

All shows are $5 for UWP students. Prices for community members vary with each show but are always below $10. According to Schuler, UWP is the only campus in the UW System that sells tickets to student-made shows for under $10. Tickets are available through the University Box Office located on the ground floor of Ullsvik Hall. The University Box Office is open Monday and Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are also available by phone at (608) 342-1298 or online at

Anyone wanting more information about Pioneer Players may contact Hess at

Contact: Tiffany Hess, president, Pioneer Players, Written by: Krystle Kurdi, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,


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