‘A love story that no words could tell’

Charlie ChaplinThe NIU School of Theatre and Dance’s Third Onion project will present the world premiere of the play, “Penny” – “a love story that no words could tell,” says its author, Nico Fernandez.

Fernandez, a BFA in acting candidate at NIU, is enthusiastic about performing his play.

“This is a project that has been with me since freshman year,” he said. “It’s been my hobby. I’ve been nibbling away at it over time, working on it whenever I can. ‘Penny’ is a trip to Neverland, and we want to take the audience with us.”

“Penny” was inspired by the silent movie era and legendary artists like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. The story takes place over the course of a year and is told through pantomime and accompanied by music of various genres. Audiences will be entertained by timeless recording artists ranging from Billie Holiday to Johnny Cash.

“Penny” tells the story of two young strangers who are destined to find each other. In this case, however, destiny needs help.

August has the heart and soul of an 8-year-old, and his outlook on the world around him inspires Penny, his potential soul mate, to go on a journey with him to the moon and back. These two young people find the magic in each other through creativity and imagination.

Fernandez plays the role of August. The title character will be interpreted by Kearstyn Keller, an MFA in acting candidate.

About creating a character through pantomime, Keller says, “we can channel our energies in one direction so intently that we lose sight of the magic, but a turn of luck, or that special someone, can change it all. This show invites people … to recover the imagination and curiosity they had as children.”

“Penny” runs from Thursday, April 30, through Sunday, May 3. Performances will take place at the Diversions Lounge, located in the Holmes Student Center. Performances start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday.

“Penny” is directed and designed by Fernandez and Keller. Costumes are produced by Rose Fernandez, properties designed by David Doherty and sound designed by Nico Fernandez. Tickets are $3 and available only at the door. Reservations are not required, but seating is limited.

The Third Onion projects allows students in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance to propose and produce their own work. For more information, call (815) 753-8263.

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