Thoreau College Presents


Thoreau College Presents is a season of theatrical performances of a mixed classical and contemporary nature, centered around some of the defining themes of our moment in time; love, politics, and war.

The season is part of Thoreau’s ongoing efforts to enliven educational opportunities, and create spaces for intellectual and artistic dialogue for people of all ages and backgrounds in our community.

Thoughout the year, participating individuals and groups from the Viroqua area as well as friends and collaborators from across the USA will present thought-provoking stories of excellent quality about sensitive and important topics, that will allow our community to gather and engage with these topics intelligently and in good faith.

The season promises to entertain, spark critical thinking, and introduce the larger Viroqua community to new and returning performers.

Keep scrolling for the full details on this seasons happenings!

Amalea Vidas and Isa Grofsorean in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2023

2024 Banquet Dates: 3/23, 6/29, 9/21

$50 per diner
Support Thoreau College and complement the performance
with a seasonal meal prepared by College faculty and students.

March 22nd-24th: Ibsen / Chekhov Rep

The Birth of Modern Realism

Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen and Russian playwright Anton Chekhov were two of the seminal figures responsible for the development of modernism and realism in the theater.

The March realism projects will see two co-productions between Thoreau College and the Jones Classical Theater Ensemble, a touring production of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (performing in Viroqua and Westby) as well as two one-act plays by Anton Chekhov, The Bear and The Proposal (performing at the Landmark Center in Viroqua).

Tickets are $10 for students and military / veterans, and $15 for adults. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. Consider arriving early for Saturday night’s performance and you can partake in a 3-course Slavic meal, prepared by Chef Frank Wildingway and Thoreau College staff and students.

Banquet tickets start at $50. RSVP here:

Theater Set

April 18th-20th: In the Balance

A ritual prayer exploring unfolding potential through a ritual celebration of seasonal changes.

Collectively conceived and imagined by Thoreau College faculty member Frank Wildingway, with Jennifer Morrison, Pita and Gabrielle Daniels, John Saunders, Arwyn Wildingway, Grant Hicks, Tom Vassao, Liam McGilligan, Claire DeCoster, and Lauren Rentenbach.

This is a Ritual Uplift Circle event taking place at the Landmark Center Theater with a suggested donation of $15. Tickets available at the door.

June 28th-30th: 3rd Annual Viroqua Shakespeare Festival

The 3rd Annual Viroqua Shakespeare Festival returns the final weekend of June, with double the productions from last year! 

The Thoreau College amphitheater on the edge of Viroqua will be the home for a raucuous and active production of Henry the Fifth, with live music and a pre-show banquet set for pre-performance festivities.

In town, the Landmark Center Theater will set a scintillating scene for a production of Romeo and Juliet, and just down the block, The Commons will be the festival’s home for new works, to be announced!

Continuing our partnership with the Jones Classical Theater Company, all productions will feature a mix of Viroqua-local actors as well as visiting theater professionals from around the United States.

New this year, the Thoreau College Shakespeare Intensive will take place in the 3 weeks prior to the festival, immersing students in stagecraft / carpentry, stage voice and movement, and the timeless language of the Bard, all leading up to the festival production of Henry the Fifth!

The festival is free to the public, but you can still support Thoreau College by enjoying a 3-course meal prior to Saturday night’s performance of Henry V.

RSVP here:

2024 Banquet Dates: 3/23, 6/29, 9/21

$50 per diner
Support Thoreau College and complement the performance
with a seasonal meal prepared by College faculty and students.

September 20th-22nd: Given / The Sonata at Payne Hollow

The American writer Wendell Berry is widely known for his musings on the “good life”, writing about sustainable agriculture, proper relationships to technology, rural communities, the pleasures of good food, the miracle of life, fidelity, frugality, and reverence, as well as the forces that oppose these tenets, such as industrial farming, topsoil erosion, global economics, and greed, among other things.

What most people don’t know is that Berry has also written a few one-act plays.

Together with Comet Time Studios out of Philmont, NY, Thoreau will present Given, The Sonata at Payne Hollow, an elegy about two couples, one young and one old, their triumphs, tribulations, hopes, and dreams.

The piece is a dramatic staging of Berry’s poetry from Given, culminating with his one-act play The Sonata at Payne Hollow, woven together through movement and live music.