Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: Robert Schneider, School of Theatre and Dance

March 31, 2006

NIU Third Onion to present a puppet show for adults

DeKalb, IL – Entirely created by students from the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, Ultimate Puppet Destruction will play April 12 through 14 in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre on the NIU DeKalb campus. Curtain time is 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $3.00 and available only at the door.

Ultimate Puppet Destruction is the brainchild of Lindsay Diakoumis, a senior BA candidate in theatre studies at the NIU School of Theatre and Dance. While other directors hold auditions to find actors, she's built her own: two foot high assemblages of felt and yarn that she intended to melt a spectator's heart with just one look.

According to Diakoumis, the puppets are visually as appealing as a puppy in a pet store window, so “it's a bit of a shock to discover just how badly they behave.” Hanging out in an R-rated tavern, they talk, flirt and scheme. The bar serves as the puppets' sanctuary, as an "everybody-knows-your-name" type of setting.

The characters include Sam, an insecure young immigrant from the fictional country of Bulimia, who struggles with his sexuality; Bill, an ex-roadie for some classic rock bands, whose years of partying have not been kind to him; Studly, a frat-boy alumnus from a state school with an eye for the ladies; and two attractive young women named Bertha and Ginger who don't know the meaning of the word inhibition.

Diakoumis wrote the script in collaboration with Jordan Miller, who also directs. Much of the dialogue was actually developed out of improvisations with the seven students who provide the puppets' voices: Melinda Baggot, Jerrod Capiak, David Galbreath, Matt Glaz, Larry Hoffman, Laura Marsh and Dan Minogue. Michael P. Hionis designed the lighting. Melissa Cozza created the sound design.

Diakoumis promises an exciting comedy that is sure to captivate audiences. Mature themes will be broached.