Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: David W. Booth / Ashley Dallman, NIU School of Theatre and Dance

November 2, 2006

NIU School of Theatre and Dance presents puppet play

DeKalb — A large wooden box sits in the center of an otherwise empty floor. The lights flicker on and students from Northern Illinois University’s School of Theatre and Dance open the heavy lid of the wooden box to reveal – puppets!

Beginning Thursday, Nov. 9, and for four days only, the theatre school will present an original Guatemalan puppet play, "Two Donuts," entirely enacted by handmade puppets.

The puppets are all sizes, colors and shapes and were constructed by students in a puppet making class. Three actors and seven puppeteers will be orchestrating the tale of a little boy’s fantastic journey.

"Two Donuts" begins with an energetic “Buenos días!” from freshman theatre major, Phil Claudnik, playing the puppet role of the local baker, who then narrates the story of Pepito. He is a young boy who loves donuts and munches them frequently as he listens to his grandmother tell stories about Guatemala.

In a dream, Pepito travels to a magical island filled with imagination and wonder, where he meets flying televisions, a giant sea turtle, a talking eye ball and Guatemalan worry dolls, and ultimately saves the island from a rampaging pair of giant boots.

Because puppets are used throughout the entire play, the challenge for the actors has been to create characters for each of them.

Jarrod Capiak, a junior theatre major who plays Pepito, says, "The interaction between puppets and actors is very exciting. It is fun trying to find different ways of showing the puppet's personality."

"Two Donuts" is written by José Cruz Gonzalez and uses both English and Spanish phrases. It is directed by NIU School of Theatre and Dance professor Benny Gomes, who has worked extensively with puppets in street theatre and is using that experience to bring these puppets to the NIU stage.

"Two Donuts" is considered family entertainment and open to children ages 5 and older. The show will be presented in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre on the DeKalb campus from Thursday, Nov. 9, through Sunday, Nov. 12. Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. weekdays and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased only at the Corner Theatre door.

For more information, call the box office at (815) 753-1600 between 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit the School of Theatre and Dance Web site at

# # #