Ilya Vett Lion King

Ilya Vett

owner, head fabricator, shop disorganizer

Ilya is a born problem solver with a gift for making things go, making things work and making things come to life.  He founded Dumbo Productions in 2003 in Dumbo, Brooklyn to facilitate his need to build and create. Now based in Red Hook, Ilya and the Dumbo team have worked on many personal and professional projects requiring his specific skills in puppet building, puppet and costume mechanics, special effects and props.

He previously worked in the puppet department at the Lion King on Broadway for 17 years. Part of only a three person team caring for all the puppets in the show, in addition to maintaining presentation, general integrity and fielding any unexpected malfunctions, Ilya was specifically responsible for the mechanics of the Scar and Mufasa head gear and the Zazu puppet. 

Known as a master of puppet mechanics, Ilya grew up building them as well as costumes and props. In 1989, in partnership with SUNY New Paltz Theatre Department, Ilya built the plants for Little Shop of Horrors based on the original plans by Martin Robinson. Then in 2003, Ilya got the chance to work with Martin directly and build the plants once again, this time for the Broadway production. 

In the intervening years, Ilya had a successful career as a costumer. First, a year costuming at Broad Hollow Players in Long Island. Then he ran the costume shop at Hofstra University, where he designed the costumes for at least five productions and managed the build for every production.  

Ilya spends his free time with his two girls fixing the toys in the “toy hospital”, reading comics and working on projects involving cardboard boxes, glitter and hot glue. 

Member of IATSE Local 764

Desiree Guinta

Desireé (Dez) Giunta

CFO, paint consultant

Dez has faux finished, glazed, plastered and gilded her way from Long Island to NYC and collaborated with a multitude of talented interior designers for the past 19 years. Her work can been seen in affluent homes all over New York, in commercial shops, restaurants, showrooms, apartment building lobby’s and on TV design shows. However, Dez prefers distressing, aging, rusting, patina, and crumbly texture applications, a love she can fulfill with Dumbo Productions. 

Her 2 girls steal her heart and her attention above all and her recent specialties include fort building, watching OK GO videos and leading LED dance parties.

Matthew+Keating

Matthew Keating

Project Manager

Matthew comes to Dumbo Productions with years of experience in wardrobe, so he understands how costumes get beat up. He has contributed his creative spirit at New London Barn Playhouse, Santa Fe Opera, Godspeed Opera House, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Playwright Horizon, and 4 seasons at The Alley Theatre. He has assisted countless designers from conception to congratulatory drinks on opening night. 

Member of IATSE Local 764

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Toria Sterling

talent 

Toria joined Dumbo Productions with training in woodworking, metalworking, and sculpting. She has over ten years of experience in building puppets. She has interned with both New York Stage and Film and Basil Twist/Tandem Otter Productions.

Within four months of moving to New York, Toria has had work featured in a Blondie music video, made miniature sets for short films, and maintained puppets for two Broadway shows.