Student designers take charge in 2018-19 Pioneer Players season

September 19, 2018
set design

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Theatre Program announces the 2018-19 Pioneer Players production season, which will feature five different performances.

“A Doll’s House, Part 2” by Lucas Hnath

The season begins with the 2017 Tony Award-winning play “A Doll’s House, Part 2” by Lucas Hnath. Performances will be in the Center for the Arts Theatre on Oct. 10-13 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be an 11 a.m. matinee on Oct. 11 and a 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 14. The production is recommended for mature audiences.

“Fresh off its successful Broadway run, this modern ‘sequel’ picks up fifteen years after the events in Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 play,” said Dr. Ann Dillon Farrelly, associate professor of theatre at UW-Platteville and director of the play. “Ibsen’s classic is credited with starting modern theatre. Hnath’s play explores – through a 21st-century lens – what happens when Nora returns after she walked out on her husband and children. The play is funny and poignant, and an interesting discussion of women’s roles and expectations, both in the 19th century and today.”

“Hamlet” by William Shakespeare

The second fall show will be William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” The play will run Dec. 5-8 at 7:30 p.m., with matinees on Dec. 5 at 11 a.m. and Dec. 9 at 2 p.m.

“We haven’t taken on a Shakespeare play since 2011,” said Farrelly, who will also be directing this production. “It is long past time to give our students the opportunity to tackle Shakespeare. ‘Hamlet’ is arguably Shakespeare’s finest work, and we plan to explore the themes in new and exciting ways – and it won’t be four hours long, I promise.”

“Fool for Love” by Sam Shepard; “Sweeney Todd” by Stephen Sondheim; “One Act Festival”

In the spring, the season will continue with Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love,” the Stephen Sondheim musical “Sweeney Todd,” and the student-directed One Act Festival. The exact dates and times will be set soon.

One of the most exciting aspects of this season is the number of student designers who will be showcasing their work this year.

“Our first fall show and our first spring show have production teams made up entirely of student designers,” said Farrelly. “We also have a student scenic designer for ‘Hamlet’ and a student lighting designer for ‘Sweeney Todd.’ I think our design and tech area is one of the best in the country, thanks to our talented design faculty, Jeffrey Strange and Sarah Strange. This may be our most challenging season yet, and we hope the Platteville community will continue to come out and see our talented students.”

The Wednesday evening performances of “A Doll’s House” and “Hamlet” will be benefit performances. All tickets for Benefit Wednesdays are $7, with all proceeds going to the Platteville Food Pantry and UW-Platteville’s Pioneer Provisions, a free pantry/grocery service for students experiencing food insecurity.

Show times, ticket prices and other information can be found on the theatre program’s website at Tickets may be purchased by calling the University Box Office at 608-342-1298 or by visiting the online box office at


Written by: Dr. Ann Farrelly, Associate Professor of Theatre, Department of Performing and Visual Arts, 608-342-6045, Formatted by: Laurie A. Hamer, University Relations Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191,


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