Elizabeth Wislar

Elizabeth Wislar


B.A., Washington University in St. Louis

M.F.A., Pennsylvania State University

Contact Information:

(570) 321-4132
Campus Post Office Box 73

Theatre: Costume Designer and Costume Shop Manager

Elizabeth Powell Wislar spent close to twenty years as a freelance theatre artisan based in Chicago, Il. She has designed costumes for over 250 shows and built more than 150 productions in the Chicago area and nationally in collaboration with many of the prevailing theaters, opera companies and local universities.

Wislar graduated cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis with B.A./B.F.A., and earned an M.F.A. in costume design and technology from Pennsylvania State University. She spent five years (1996-1999, 2002) as the assistant designer/head draper for the annual Baroque Handel Opera Festival in Göttingen, Germany (Internationale Händel Festspeile Gottingen). Wislar is the 2004 recipient of the Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award, as well as numerous other awards and nominations.

In 2011, she founded Chicago Custom Costumes, a private build shop located in the historic Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. In 2015, Wislar sold her business and joined Lycoming College in the rolling mountains of rural Pennsylvania where her new mission in life is to participate in the development of new artistic collaborators and technicians, training them for a multitude of diverse opportunities. Her design work can also be seen locally in collaboration with Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble and the Bucknell University theatre and opera departments. Wislar also specializes in large scale sculpture installations. She is currently working on her second commissioned installation piece, which will be featured at a private event in Chicago in September. Past design credits with Lycoming College include: “Cabaret,” “Almost Maine,” “Stop Kiss” and “The 39 Steps.” She directed the Fall 2017 production of “She Kills Monsters.”

Wislar is the founder and managing director of the Lycoming Early Music Festival, set to premier in the Fall of 2019.

Notable Design credits include:
• The world premier of “The Houdini Box,” written by Brian Selznick and directed by Blair Thomas
• Multiple co-productions with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Children's Theatre
• “Arnie the Donut,” directed by Adam Arian for the New York New Musical Festival
• “La Traviata” with Rogue Opera Company and “The Magic Flute” with Tacoma Opera, both directed by Noel Koran
• The world premier of “Neverwhere” with Lifeline Theatre, based on the book by Neil Gaiman, and directed by Paul Holmquist
• Multiple productions with The Actor's Gymnasium, a circus-training arts ensemble, under the direction of Larry and Sylvia DiStasi
• The world premier of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” a new musical written by Dennis DeYoung, directed by David Zak
• “Were the World Mine,” a major motion picture and romantic musical fantasy film (2008) directed by Tom Gustafson

Notable Build credits include:
• Lookingglass Theatre's production of “Metamorphosis” by Mary Zimmerman
• Several pieces for the Broadway touring production of “A Christmas Story” designed by Elizabeth Hope Clancy
• Multiple stage costumes for the internationally famous electronic dance musician “Savant”
• Several large-scale touring event installations for Hendrick's Gin
• Costumes for Dee Snyder's “Rockin' Christmas Tale,” designed by Suzette Snyder
• Insect, bird, and bat costumes with matching large-scale fabric installation pieces for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
A reboot of Snowden, the Lycoming College Library mascot