The UW–Platteville’s Heartland Festival will return for its 15th year under the leadership of Dr. Ann Dillon Farrelly, artistic director and associate professor of theatre at UW–Platteville, and Michael Breitner, managing director and director of arts facilities and series at UW–Platteville.
The Heartland Festival has been a part of UW–Platteville’s tradition of providing arts and cultural activities and events to Platteville and the Tri-State area. Since its inception, thousands of people have attended Heartland Festival productions. More than 3,900 tickets were sold for the 2014 Heartland Festival productions.
While Breitner and Farrelly acknowledged the Heartland Festival’s popularity and success, they said that in light of current budget uncertainty, the university is now assessing the future of the festival.
The festival format will be slightly different this year. “The festival will be eight weeks long, just as it was last season, and the two musicals will run consecutively,” said Farrelly. “There will not be a cabaret show this year, but there will be a Cabaret Night on July 24. Missoula Children’s Theatre will also be back.”
Breitner and Farrelly said audience members of all ages will love the 2015 Heartland Festival’s engaging, enlightening and entertaining performances.
The first show of the 2015 season will be Jason Robert Brown’s “The Last Five Years,” a two-person musical directed by Farrelly.
“This fascinating and beautiful musical explores a relationship from two different perspectives,” said Farrelly. “One character’s timeline is told in chronological order and the other’s is told in reverse.”
The second show of the season will be the Disney classic “Mary Poppins,” also directed by Farrelly and choreographed by Connie SaLoutos Furlan, who teaches public speaking and theatre courses at UW–Platteville.
“‘Mary Poppins’ will be a wonderful, uplifting show for all ages,” said Farrelly. “It is a beloved character and story, and I think the Heartland team will have fun bringing it to life.”
Missoula Children’s Theatre will return July 13–18 with “Rapunzel.”
“We still have the same great team as last year,” said Farrelly. “Lizzie Hansen will return as musical director, Jeffrey Strange will return as the scenic designer and Sarah Strange will be returning as the costume designer.”
The festival will open on June 12 with “The Last Five Years,” which will run until June 28, while “Mary Poppins” will run July 10–26.
“Mary Poppins” auditions for the Platteville community will take place Saturday, March 7, with both children and adult auditions taking place that day. Children’s auditions are open to anyone entering fourth grade to those entering eighth grade. The boys’ audition will be from 2 to 2:30 p.m. and the girls’ audition will be from 2:30 to 3 p.m. The adult auditions, open to anyone entering ninth grade and older, will be held from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. All auditions will be held in the Center for the Arts Theatre.
For more information on audition requirements and to download an audition form, visit the Heartland Festival website at www.theheartlandfestival.com. Call the University Box Office, 342-1298 or 1-877-727-1CFA, to schedule a five- minute audition time.