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Meet Shrek Co-Production Manager, Izzy Garcia!

Name: Izzy Garcia

Year: Junior

Hometown: Irvington, NY

Major: Social policy and international studies

Birthday: Oct. 7, 1993

How long have you been involved with the Dolphin Show for?

I’ve been involved all three years of college. It was the first family I really joined on campus because it was before sorority recruitment and before I petitioned to be on the student theater board.

What position are you?

I am the co-production manager with Jack Eidson, which is a lot of fun. We coordinate design elements and make sure things get done for the show. We don’t have anything to do with the rehearsal process but a lot to do with the set, props, costumes and making sure that everything gets done before the show. We came back to school a week before winter quarter started to begin working on “build,” which is building the set.

What previous positions have you held?

Freshman year, the boy who was supposed to be props designer got sick so I took on his role. Usually freshmen aren’t designers, so it was a cool way to become part of the family. Because I was a freshman, the designers and I were all really excited about it. I worked really hard and from then on it’s just gotten better. Last year I was part of the business team, as director of community programming. This included a lot of reaching out to the Evanston community and organizing a lot of workshops with different schools around the area.

What have you been building for the show?

It’s a really beautiful and magical kind of set because Shrek is a fantasy. We had the liberty to create this magical forest. There has been a lot of painting, and there’s a castle and a tower because Cahn is such a big space. The scale of the set is huge, so there’s a lot of work that has been going into it and that I am really proud of. The set looks like a fairy tale and everything is green.

What is your favorite part about being part of the Dolphin Show?

My favorite part is the amount of people I get to spend time with, because I’m in such a general position and hold a role where I oversee so many people.

How long do you work on the shows for?

The producers were chosen last year in March, so we have been working on it for almost a year now, but I was abroad in the fall. There are weekly production meetings, but right now we’re working directly in Cahn for almost ten hours a day. The time is split between the actual rehearsals and the time it takes designers to do things like build the set and level the sound. I probably spend about three hours a day there. It’s amazing how much time goes into this process, especially considering that it’s all students; it’s really beautiful I think.

Have you always known that you wanted to be involved with theater?

Yes, the first show I fell in love with was The Sound of Music. When I was younger, I would make my mom sing musicals to me and I acted them out. I played the house in the The Wizard of Oz when I was in fifth grade; that was the first show I was in, my debut. I sat under a cardboard box the whole show but I got to stick out my feet with the ruby slippers, so I felt special that I got to wear them. It’s only gone uphill from there.

What else are you involved in on campus?

I’m on one of the student theater boards called the Purple Crayon Players, which specifically does theater for young audiences. I am on team education, so I do a lot of the workshops that correspond to our main stage shows. I have a passion for working with kids and making theater accessible for children. I am also a tour guide here, and I work with a group called Centro Romero, which does ESL tutoring for Hispanic immigrants in Chicago. In addition, I am co-producing Sweeney Todd for Arts Alliance.

What do you want to do after you graduate?

I would love to work with healthcare policy. I’m specifically interested in public health and how it functions as a right rather than a privilege, so somewhere in that field hopefully.

Do you want to continue doing theater after you graduate?

I don’t think so, but I think all the experience I’ve had with theater will translate into what I want to do later in life. The managerial and communication skills I have gained from the positions I’ve held are skills you’ll need in any type of work. I’m very comfortable talking to people and working under deadlines, so these are all things I’ll use later in life.

When does Shrek come out?

It comes out January 24 and runs for two weekends at Cahn Auditorium. I’m so excited for it to come out; it’s a beautiful story and it’s hysterical. I think it’s something that’s going to bring a little sunshine into this miserable winter.

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