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Student-faculty display features 19th-century costumes from 'In the Next Room'

| Jenna Vande Zande

McIntyre Library at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host a special event April 3-6 featuring 19th-century costumes designed by Assistant Professor Amanda Profaizer and her students for a UW-Eau Claire theatre production set in the Victorian era.

A display of the costumes and a related presentation are part of a collaboration between Profaizer and Katelyn Sabelko, a senior from Eau Claire who is pursuing a theatre arts minor along with her major in English literature. The two approached the library with an idea to bring theater content across the river from the Haas Fine Arts Center.

Event information:

  • Display: April 3-6, first floor of McIntyre Library
  • Presentation: 5-6 p.m. April 6 in McIntyre Library Breezeway (second floor)

Profaizer and Sabelko's display will feature four costumes from UW-Eau Claire's fall 2016 presentation of the much-talked-about play "In the Next Room." The play is in part about the early history of the vibrator and how doctors prescribed the device to treat women for “hysteria.” The play centers on Dr. Givings, his wife, Catherine, and their interactions with one of his patients. It discusses many Victorian-era themes, like female sexual desire, breastfeeding and the changing concept of motherhood.

The display will be available for viewing on the first floor of McIntyre Library from the afternoon of April 3 until the presentation at 5 p.m. April 6 in the library's second-floor breezeway. The costumes will be moved upstairs for the presentation to allow up-close viewing by attendees. Light refreshments will be provided.

“I’m thrilled that McIntyre Library is hosting this event,” Sabelko said. “I saw this collaboration as an opportunity to showcase some of the incredible work being done in UW-Eau Claire’s theatre program. I’ve enjoyed all the brainstorming, problem solving and organization that planning this event required. It gave me a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable job experience while pursuing my love of theater arts.”

About Katelyn Sabelko:

Katelyn Sabelko is a senior at UW-Eau Claire studying English Literature and theatre arts. Katelyn has always been a bookworm, so the opportunity to work as a peer research consultant at McIntyre Library has been a dream come true for her. When she’s not in the library, you can find her in the Center for Writing Excellence, where she works as a writing assistant. 

About Amanda Profaizer:

Amanda Profaizer is an assistant professor of costume design in the department of music and theatre arts at UW-Eau Claire. She received her master of fine arts degree in costume design from Utah State University in 2006 and served at USU as shop manager and adjunct faculty member of costume construction and technology for 10 years. She has designed costumes for the Utah Festival Opera, Old Lyric Repertory Company and The Grand Theatre. She worked as a costume shop technician for the Utah Shakespearean Festival and the Pioneer Theatre Company, and also served as a design assistant with NBC's "Saturday Night Live." 

Amanda maintains an extensive record of award-winning designs and spent two summers in Washington, D.C., at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts showcasing her work and studying alongside renowned designers Ming Cho Lee and Constance Hoffman.

Photo cutline: Victorian-era costumes designed by Amanda Profaizer, UW-Eau Claire assistant professor of costume design, and her students were worn for the fall 2016 on-campus production of the play "In the Next Room." The costumes will be on display April 3-6 and the topic of a presentation at 5 p.m. April 6 in the university's McIntyre Library.