Don Giovanni Staging Project
- sexual violence is introduced in the opening scene and continues throughout the production
- the cavalier attitude Don Giovanni adopts is misogynistic at its core, and it deeply and tragically affects multiple women just within the scope of the opera. If a prologue or an epilogue were provided, we would see more lives affected significantly.
- It is set in Washington D.C., symbolic of misogynistic behaviour or sexual violence that can occur with the pressure of one leveraging political power.
- The setting is also symbolic of being in a place that has the power to make changes through creating laws and policies and also through setting an example of actually eradicating misogyny and rigorously enforcing policies and laws concerning sexual violence.
- Due to a character change I am making (changing Don Ottavio’s role into a role for Donna Ottavia, thus putting Donna Anna and Donna Ottavia in a lesbian relationship), there should be significantly less debate regarding if Donna Anna might have been complicit in the opening scene.
- Even more emphasis on it being a female-driven group that eliminates Don Giovanni through the change of cast adding two more females and a shrouded, all-female army joining the Commendatora in Don Giovanni’s house.
Modern issues being referenced:
Me Too movement - encouraging victims to feel comfortable telling their story1
Empowerment of women, especially through support of other women2
Sexual violence, specifically as an issue that is currently prevalent and not a thing of the past3
LGBTQIA+ awareness (Donna Ottavia and Donna Anna as a lesbian couple, Donna Elvira's maid as non-binary)4
1A summary and additional information can be found here: Sherri Gordon, “What is the #MeToo Movement?”, VeryWell Mind, July 2, 2020, accessed May 2, 2021, https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-metoo-movement-4774817.
2Additional information on women being empowered through support by other women can be found at Keemia Ferasat, “The Secret to Women’s Empowerment is Women”, Forbes Los Angeles Business Council, March 12, 2019, accessed May 2, 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeslacouncil/2019/03/12/the-secret-to-womens-empowerment-is-women/?sh=23d6997c1291 Sexual violence.
3More details can be found at “Statistics”, National Sexual Violence Resource Center, accessed May 2, 2021, https://www.nsvrc.org/statistics.
4Insight into how seeing LGBT people portrayed in theater can influence students can be found here: Susan V. Iverson & Christin Seher, “Using Theatre to Change Attitudes Toward Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Students,” Journal of LGBT Youth, 11:1 (2014): 40-61, DOI: 10.1080/19361653.2014.840765,