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Third Onion production canceled

April 6, 2011
Vladimir Mayakovsky

Vladimir Mayakovsky


NIU’s Third Onion, the student-initiated production scheme at the School of Theatre and Dance, presents its final production of the 2010-11 theater season with the play, “Vladimir Mayakovsky.”

The evening of poetry in puppets begins at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, through Saturday, April 30, in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre.

Andrew Hildner, an MFA in design student who designed school’s productions of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” and “Twelfth Night” last year and “Moby Dick Rehearsed” this spring, makes his debut as a producer with this production. Hildner is heading a team of designers who are building the actual performers of the piece: the puppets. 

Hildner, a long-time admirer of the poet, says he wants to do more that just “present the audience with plot and performance.” He says he wants them to get involved and “think outside the proscenium.”

In his tragically brief life, Mayakovsky embodied a political revolution — the October Revolution of 1917 — and helped create a literary movement known as Russian Futurism. He took poetry to the people in quick, bold strokes.

After his suicide in 1930, he was condemned by the Soviet press but then defended by Stalin. He remains among the best-loved Soviet poets to this day. 

“The work of Mayakovsky inspired the population during the (Russian) Revolution,” Hildner says. “He is the last poet on earth, due to this unique fact: a world in chaos … crowned him its emperor.”

Accordingly, Hildner adds, Vladimir Mayakovsky did away with traditional plotting, seeking instead to project the poet’s words into a world of images where no human actor would be welcome.

For Third Onion productions, students rent the theatre from the school and recoup their costs from ticket sales. Aspiring actors, playwrights and directors in the school theatre program all have used the Third Onion to present their work, but this will be the first Third Onion production driven by designers.

Tickets are $3 and are only available at the door.

For more information, contact Robert Schneider at (815) 753-8263 or via e-mail at [email protected].