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Behind the Scenes of Don Giovanni

Emma Blissitt is a second-year student pursuing a Comprehensive Major in Theatre Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.  Emma has been a part of numerous productions put on at the university and is playing a vital role in the upcoming production of Don Giovanni.  Blissitt’s role is not one to be seen in action on stage, but one that makes the opera possible.  She is the Assistant Technical Director working under the supervision of faculty member, James Zwicky.  Technical Directors serve as technical experts, as well as project coordinators.  They illustrate, design, draft, and help build the sets for theatre productions.  Blissitt has been working from the very beginning to pull the show together with the rest of the cast and crew.  She has built some of the “smaller” (10 to 12 feet high) set pieces.  She likes the technical side of theatre because of its versatility.  She said, “I can paint, build, weld, design, and draft all in one career.”  She loves UW-EC’s Theatre Program because it prepares students for any realm of the theatre or any aspect of the performance arts industry. 

Don Giovanni is the largest physical production to be created by the Music and Theatre Arts Department.  This has been prompted by the new expansive space at the Pablo Center.  The opera is being held in the RCU Theatre, which requires sets twice the size as what was used for the department’s last opera production, which was held in Gantner Hall in the Haas Fine Arts Center.  Emma Blissitt is honored to be a part of such a large-scale opera.  While this timeless opera was written in the eighteenth century, its message concerning individual freedom is relevant today.  The immediacy of its message results from all aspects of the production, from costuming and staging to set and lighting design.  Six faculty members have contributed to the production: Director-Ken Pereira, Music Director-Mark Mowry, Conductor-Nobu Yasuda, Choreographer-Ariella Brown, Lighting Designer-Erin Hisey, Costume Designer-Amanda Profaizer, and Technical Director-James Zwicky.  

The opera runs from May 9-11 at 7:30 p.m. and May 12 at 1:30 p.m.  Tickets, which are available through the Pablo Center, are $10 for UW-EC students/staff, $16 for youth and seniors, and $22 for adults.