Audiences return to the theatre

‘A Place with the Pigs’


Lyric Trempe

Actors Bryce Giammo and Erin McKee in their performance of “A Place with Pigs” running from Tuesday Oct 5, 2021 through Saturday Oct 9, 2021.

Peyton Rollins, Arts & Recreation Editor

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Theatre Department presented the production “A Place with the Pigs,” written by Athol Fugard and directed by Bruce Cohen Tuesday Oct. 5 in the Barnett Theatre. The production ran from Tuesday Oct. 5 – Saturday, Oct. 9. 

“I was intrigued by how we would turn a play that seems so ominous and dark upon first glance, into more of a musical style. I think the addition of songs and dance choreography was a great addition to the show and will help better represent the story we’re trying to tell,” said sophomore Bryce Giammo, who played main character Pavel.

Giammo’s fascinating performance as Pavel had the audience experiencing the same emotions that his character was feeling throughout the show such as anger, excitement, fear. Giammo’s delivery and passion on stage delighted and intrigued the audience. The play showcased an emotional but fun show, which was a great way to kick off the theatre season, according to Giammo.

Director Bruce Cohen, who has directed UW-W Theatre for five years, explained why “A Place with the Pigs” was the production he wanted to showcase.

Fugard has often written about ‘the separateness,’ and made it a target of his drama. However, with this play it is not the case, or not so explicitly. Alternately, this play has been said to be about struggles with addiction. The play is a commentary on the misanthropy that self-isolation and fear can magnify,” said Cohen. “It’s a poignant reality over the last year and a half.” 

Many students and community members came to watch opening night on Tuesday. It was apparent that the actors were excited to be back on stage while the audience was just as excited to be watching the show live. 

“A Place with the Pigs” is based on a true story that focuses on a Russian soldier during World War II who has to decide between living in his own comfortable isolation inside a pig-sty or rejoining society.  Although a distressing situation, the show contains hilarious jokes and one-liners that make the audiences feel and root for our main characters. The backdrops, costumes, music, lighting, sounds and choreography transport the audience back to the village in Russia after World War II where main character Pavel Ivanowitch lives. With beautiful dances and elegant musical numbers, the actors fulfilled a captivating performance, which kept the crowd mesmerized.