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