Pioneer Players to present 'The Pillowman'

October 3, 2014

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Department of Performing and Visual Arts Theatre and Pioneer Players will open its 2014-15 production season with Martin McDonagh’s play, “The Pillowman.” Performances are Oct. 15-18 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 18-19 at 2 p.m. The Benefit Wednesday performance is Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. All tickets for the benefit are $6, and the proceeds go to the Platteville Food Pantry and Platteville Family Connections. All performances are in the Center for the Arts Theatre. 

This Olivier and Tony Award-winning play premiered in 2003. The play follows the story of Katurian, a writer in a totalitarian dictatorship, who is being interrogated about a series of child murders that closely resemble the events in some of his own short stories.

“This play is pure Martin McDonagh,” said Dr. Ann Dillon Farrelly, associate professor at UW-Platteville and director of the play. “Often called the Quentin Tarantino of the theatre world, this Irish playwright has made a name for himself with plays that are shockingly funny, often violent and macabre. He is fearless in his storytelling, much like the main character in the play, and he goes where many playwrights fear to tread.”

Due to the explicit language and adult situations, this play is recommended for mature audiences. “This play is provocative and, at times, gruesome,” said Farrelly, who wrote her doctoral dissertation on McDonagh’s plays. “It is definitely not for everyone. McDonagh is an acquired taste, but he is also a brilliant playwright.”

The cast includes UW-Platteville students John O’Sullivan IV as Katurian, Kyle James and Elliott Frieden as the police team of Tupolski and Ariel, and Joshua Rudesill as Katurian’s brother, Michal.

The cast also includes an ensemble, featuring Sunshine Balch, Aaron Pliska, Zachary Thomas and Chirissa Zirbel. Students Amanda Nerby and Lucas Pawelski serve as the stage manager and lighting designer, respectively. 

Sarah Strange, resident costume designer at UW-Platteville, will provide the costume design and Jeffrey Strange, assistant professor of theatre at UW-Platteville, will provide the scenic design.

“Ultimately, this is a play about the nature of storytelling,” said Farrelly. “One thing is for sure – once you see a Martin McDonagh play, you won’t soon forget it.”

Tickets for the production are $11 for general admission, $10 for faculty/staff/seniors, and $6 for students. This year, the box office has added a mandatory transaction fee of $1 to all tickets. Because of the fee, the ticket prices have been adjusted to reflect that charge. For tickets and information call the CFA Box Office at (608) 342-1298.

Contact: Dr. Ann Dillon Farrelly, Department of Performing and Visual Arts, (608) 342-6045,

Formatted by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191,


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