Students take center stage in 2018 One Act Festival

April 23, 2018
One Act Festival
One Act Festival
One Act Festival

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Department of Performing and Visual Arts and Pioneer Players will conclude their theatre season with the annual One Act Festival: An Evening of Short Plays. The production opens on Thursday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. and continues with evening performances on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. All performances will be held in the Center for the Arts-Theatre at UW-Platteville.

Ann Farrelly, associate professor of theatre at UW-Platteville who teaches the upper-level directing course, said that putting the theories and techniques the students are learning in the classroom into practice is a vital component of the theatre major and minor at UW-Platteville.

“The One Act Festival brings together the students in the directing and lighting design classes to create a wonderful capstone experience for the students,” said Farrelly. “The directing class encourages students to incorporate the skills and knowledge they have acquired from previous classes in acting, design, play analysis, theatre history and dramatic literature. In the class, students focus on learning how to communicate with designers by developing a concept and focus on learning how to guide and translate their ideas effectively to actors while composing imaginative, evocative stage pictures. The directing class is the culmination of all that they have learned while in the program, and the class challenges them to put those skills into practice by presenting their work to a public audience.”

The students in the program’s advanced lighting design class, taught by Jeffrey Strange, associate professor of theatre at UW-Platteville, are also challenged to create a fully-realized design using the principles covered in the classroom. The students in the classes must also work together – an essential aspect of the theatrical process.

“Bringing the students in these classes together helps to reinforce the importance and necessity of collaboration in theatre,” said Strange. 

This year’s One Act Festival showcases the work of 11 student directors, eight student designers and 23 student actors. Many of the student actors are performing in their very first Pioneer Players production.

The directors in this year’s class include Sunshine Balch, Megan Conroy, Ian Duff, Logan Eigenberger and Cody Lindau, and Nick Kelley, Alex Behne, Sam Klaas, Josh Lawyer, Aaron Pliska and Abbie Wagner, who will also be lighting designers for the festival. The remaining student lighting designers are Jordan Blood, John Gunther and Zach Van Camp.  The cast features Parker Thomson, Meghan Behrens, Beth Wallace, Corey Mickle, Charles Roltgen, Emma Losey, Jon Hutson, Kiley Schulz, Jason Hackbarth, Sarah McCraw, Lyrica Daentl, Adam Smith, Corbin Schroeder, Keely Liska, Chris Geenen, Ross Spadaro, Blair Schuler, Jon Herbers, Liam Spillane, Mary Ann Klar, Lili Pierce, Dayna Niedich and Madison Gruman. Student Meghan Weber will serve as the production stage manager.

“From the sublime to the ridiculous, this year’s slate of short plays has something for everyone,” said Farrelly.

Because of the content in some of the plays, the production is recommended for mature audiences only. Tickets are available at the University Box Office, located on the ground floor of Ullsvik Hall. Tickets may also be purchased over the phone at 608-342-1298 or online at Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $12 for faculty, staff and seniors and $7 for current students with a valid ID or anyone under 18. (Please note that the ticket prices above include a $2 box office fee.)

For more information, contact Ann Farrelly at 608-342-6045 or

High-impact practices, such as directing and acting in and designing for the One Act Festival, are an important component of UW-Platteville’s 2017-18 strategic work plan, which includes the institutional priorities of improving student learning, data-informed decision making, budgeting and planning, supporting student success through retention and recruitment initiatives, and campus climate.

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


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