Pioneer Players presents 'OR,'
PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Department of Performing and Visual Arts Theatre and Pioneer Players open their season with Liz Duffy Adams’ comedy, “OR,” on Wednesday, Oct. 21-Saturday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 21 at 11 a.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. All performances will be located in the Center for the Arts Theatre.
The Wednesday evening performance on Oct. 21 is a benefit show; all tickets are $6 and the proceeds go to the Platteville Food Pantry and Family Promise of Grant County. “OR,” is recommended for mature audiences.
The action of “OR,” takes place during an evening in the life of Britain’s first professional female playwright. Aphra Behn, an ex-spy, must write a substantial play for the Lady Davenant by morning in order to launch her career. However, her predicament becomes complicated when she is visited by Nell Gwynne, an actress; Charles II, the flirtatious king; and William Scott, a double agent, ex-lover, who is plotting to kill the king. Aphra’s life becomes more entangled because she falls in love with all three characters. Will she be able to resist Nell’s charm, save the king and write her masterpiece all in one night?
“Playwright Liz Duffy Adams saw interesting parallels between the 1600s Restoration England and America in the 1960s – two periods in history that experienced tremendous freedom after a period of suffocating repression,” said Dr. David Schuler, associate professor of theatre at UW-Platteville and director of the production. “For Adams, where there’s political oppression all other freedoms suffer, and where the power is less abusive, people can make free choices in whom to love, what to believe, and what art to make. That’s what ‘OR,’ celebrates – political, sexual, spiritual, and artistic freedom.”
The cast includes Emily Cooksey, from Watertown, Wis., as Aphra; Emma Wilson, from Platteville, as Nell/Maria; Elliott Frieden, from Moline, Ill., as William/Charles; and Aaron Pliska, from Rosholt, Wis., as the Jailer/Lady Davenant.
Other students involved in the production are scenic designer Grayson Basina, from Evansville, Wis.; lighting designer Clark Cybart-Fusion, from Evansville, Wis.; and sound designer Charles Gilbert, from Beloit, Wis. Newcomer Jessica Gruber, from West Bend, Wis., is the stage manager. Sarah Strange, theatre lecturer at UW-Platteville, designed the costumes.
“It’s not unusual for us to have a lot of students involved behind the scenes of a production,” said Schuler. “We try to give student designers the opportunity to develop their skills with our shows. We haven’t done many traditional comedies, and ‘OR,’ is the closest thing to farce we have done here at UW-Platteville, so it was time for one. I want the audience to be entertained and have fun, all while getting a glimpse of the upper-class society in 17th century England.”
Tickets for the production are $11 for general admission, $10 for faculty/staff/seniors and $6 for students. All tickets include the additional $1 per ticket transaction fee. For tickets and information, call the University Box Office at 608-342-1298. Visit the theatre program’s website /theatre for more information regarding the remainder of the 2015-16 season.
Written by: Elliott Frieden, theatre program intern, Department of Performing and Visual Arts, 608-342-1143.