Students take center stage as the annual One Act Festival returns

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The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Department of Performing and Visual Arts and Pioneer Players will conclude their theatre season with the return of the annual One Act Festival: An Evening of Short Plays. The first festival since the spring of 2019, the production opens on Thursday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. and continues with evening performances on Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. All performances will be held in the Center for the Arts-Theatre at UW-Platteville.

Ann Farrelly, 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 lighting design class, taught by Jeffrey Strange, 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, nine student designers and 23 student actors. The directors in this year’s class are Katie Dionne, Brady Hattori, Jackson Hemming, Emma Johannes, Austin Pettlon, Isabelle Sander, Morgaine Schroeder and Brynna Wiser, along with Alex Bartel, Amber Glassel and Cameron Tieman, who will also be lighting designers for the festival. The remaining student lighting designers are Anna Fassbender, Myles Heinzen, Aleta Mullikin and Jonathan Parkes, as well as Emma Felland and Avery Goth, who will also be acting in the festival.  The remaining cast features Amber Bornheimer, Sara Ditchman, Claudia Enz, Ben Gleason, Elyse Harvancik, Eli Jacobson, Kodi Jordan, Leah Kubasta, Josh Landowski, Shane Larson, Dee Lininger, Alyssa Long, Tatiana McGruder, Daniel Myers, Dillon Nemitz, Matthew Siekierski, Dan Sniff, Chris Thomas, Sydney Van Gelder, Emma Wagner, Luke Wieland, Elise Williams and Seth Reilly, who will also serve as technical director. Student Jess Kott will be the production stage manager.

“We are thrilled for the return of the One Act Festival. It is a showcase for our student artists, and the selection of plays always provides for a diverse evening of entertainment,” said Farrelly.

Because of the adult content and situations 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 $15 for general admission and $7 for current students or anyone under 18. The ticket prices above include a $2 box office fee. 

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