Theatergoers will see both familiar faces and new actors at the UW–Platteville Heartland Festival.
In addition to the actors from the Platteville community, several actors chosen at auditions in Madison will perform in the festival’s three productions: “Frankly Scarlett, You’re Dead!,” “Nunsense” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Platteville area performers include David Schuler, co-artistic director of the festival and an associate professor of theatre at UW–Platteville, who will be playing Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof”; Susan Savage Day, an assistant professor of music at UW–Platteville, who will be playing Sister Mary Regina in “Nunsense” and Fruma-Sarah in “Fiddler on the Roof”; Amanda Zasada, a Platteville native and student at UW–Platteville, who will be playing Sister Amnesia in “Nunsense” and Hodel in “Fiddler on the Roof”; and Rachel McIntyre, a Galena native and student at Ball State University, who will return to the festival playing Sister Leo in “Nunsense” and Chava in “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Other community members involved in this year’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” include Bill Haskins (Rabbi), Deb Meyer (Yente), Tyler Tollefson (Mordcha), Lou Dalton (Grandma Tzeitel), Alissa Stanley (Shprintze), Sarah-Kate Kenney (Bielke), Carolyn Schuler (Shaindel), Katie Sigwarth (Fiddler) and Ryan Decker (Avram).
Rounding out the ensemble will be Platteville area natives Lydia Sigwarth, Susan Cramer, Sheri Schwert, Ellen Neumann, AJ Neumann, Jim Neumann, Nick Demaree, Sam Johnson, John Cramer, Lizzy Haag, Quinn Collins, Isabelle Sander, Elizabeth Biddick, Jonah Neumann, Kale Johnson, Dylan Prestegard and Allison Demaree.
Other UW–Platteville students and recent graduates in the festival include Craig Schlagel (Motel, “Fiddler on the Roof”), Brent Schwert (Lazar Wolf, “Fiddler on the Roof”), Jarrod Diehm (Constable, “Fiddler on the Roof”), Savion Kirk (Sasha, “Fiddler on the Roof”) and Dakota Vaassen (Col. Simpson, “Frankly Scarlett, You’re Dead!”).
The actors from outside of the Platteville community are not all newcomers to the Heartland Festival. Katherine Duffy, a Milwaukee native who recently graduated from Indiana University, will return to play Melody Simpson in “Frankly Scarlett, You’re Dead!”, Sister Robert Anne in “Nunsense” and Tzeitel in “Fiddler on the Roof.” In the 2011 Heartland Festival, Duffy performed as Miss Prunebacher in “Murder Rides Again,” Jan in “Grease” and Eulalie Shinn in “The Music Man.”
Joining the returning actors are four new faces. Jason Coppenbarger, a musical theatre major at Western Illinois University, will be playing the roles of Montgomery Joseph Pinkney in “Frankly Scarlett, You’re Dead!” and Perchik in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Other credits include “Hair,” “Into the Woods,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Dog Sees God” and “Spring Awakening.”
Tyler Block is joining Heartland this summer and appears as Fyedka in “Fiddler on the Roof,” and Brett Rutgers in “Frankly, Scarlett, You’re Dead!” From Janesville, Block has also acted as Moritz (“Spring Awakening”), Gabe (“Next to Normal”), Princeton (“Avenue Q”) and Rolf Grüber (“The Sound of Music”).
Daniel Millhouse is a student of the MFA acting/directing program at UW–Madison, having graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts. He will be playing Montague Forest Pinkney in “Frankly Scarlett, You’re Dead!” and Mendel in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Notable performances at EMU included “Angels in America” (parts 1 and 2) and “The 39 Steps.” This past year, Millhouse was seen in the Michigan Shakespeare Festival’s High School Tour productions of “Romeo and Juliet” and “Macbeth” and UW–Madison’s productions of “I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On” and “Woyzeck.”
Vasiliki Fafalios is a senior musical theatre major at Viterbo University. She will be playing the roles of Scarlett Simpson in “Frankly Scarlett, You’re Dead!,” Sister Hubert in “Nunsense” and Golde in “Fiddler on the Roof.” She has performed in many theatres around Wisconsin, including the Sunset Playhouse, Skylight Opera House and Weber Center for the Performing Arts. Most recently, she appeared as Diana Morales in Viterbo’s production of “A Chorus Line.”
“Frankly Scarlett, You’re Dead!” opens Friday at 7:30 p.m., “Nunsense” opens June 14 at 7:30 p.m., and “Fiddler on the Roof” opens July 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the 12th season of the Heartland Festival are on sale now. For more information on this year’s festival, visit www.theheartlandfestival.com.