April 24, 2017
What do recent college graduates do with their lives after graduation from a puppet’s point of view? Find out in Drexel Co-op Theatre's latest lollapalooza of a production, Avenue Q, a TONY Award-winning musical that follows recent college graduate, Princeton, as he navigates the big city with even bigger dreams… but with a tiny bank account. The only apartment Princeton can afford is all the way out on Avenue Q, and it's here that he meets an assortment of eccentric characters who are destined to be his new friends;
Drexel Theatre students have been eager to put this play into production for some time now. Each year Theatre Scholarship Students, as Co-op Theatre members, meet in the fall quarter with Professor Bill Fennelly. Fennelly has worked on award winning productions of Jersey Boys and The Lion King, among others, and is directing Avenue Q. Together they read a variety of plays, discussing their importance, relevance, and their interest in moving them forward into production. After making their selections, the suggestions are compiled and sent to Nick Anselmo, Director of Theatre, who seeks plays that students will relate to. "This is one of the funniest musicals, ever," stated Anselmo, "and the choice was made to produce Avenue Q because we were doing a full season of really great, but relatively unknown work. We wanted to juxtapose that with something surefire our audience could immediately respond to."
In true Drexel fashion, Avenue Q is a collaborative affair, with Dr. Miriam Giguere, Performing Arts Department Head, choreographing the production. There are alsoseveral industry professionals who were enlisted to exercise their unique and challenging skillsets of vocal coaching, puppetry, and musical direction. Amanda Morton, a Philadelphia based theater professional and former Director of the Drama School at the Arden Theatre Company, contributed as musical director. Patrick Ahearn, a faculty member of Rowan University who worked with students on last year's production of Little Shop of Horrors, participated in this year's production as puppet designer and puppet coach. D'Arcy Webb also contributed as a voice and diction coach, which proved vital in accomplishing the style of Sesame Street characters as they, though fun, can prove to be a challenge. "Puppetry allows us to project on an inanimate object our own emotions, which is a reason they're so popular," noted Anselmo, "I tell my acting students, everyone wants to cry on stage, because they think it's good acting. But if you do that, you tell the audience how to feel. When you allow it to be open, and just lived in the moment, the audience gets to project their life onto you and they then can truly feel anything."
The cast, which combines stage acting and puppetry, includes students from across our many diverse majors, featuring Drew Sipos, Music Industry student, as Princeton; Marlyn Logue, Entertainment & Arts Management, as Kate Monster; Felicia Batten, Screenwriting & Playwriting, as Lucy; Matt Demetrides Entertainment & Arts Management , as Nicky; Joey Teti, a student at LeBow, as Trekki Monster; Matt Dotzman, a graduate student in the School of Education with a theater degree from Temple University (you may have seen him as Chip in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway when he was a kid), as Rod; Daniel Zona of LeBow as Brian; Olivia Shoup, Screenwriting & Playwriting, and Georgie Manera of LeBow as the Bad Idea Bears; Becky Toll of the School of Education as Mrs.Thistletwat; Prairie Yang, Chemistry, as Christmas Eve; and recent alum and guest artist, Aman Millones-Roman, as Gary. The ensemble includes Music Industry student, Ricky Martin; Entertainment & Arts Management student, Caroline Juelke; and Game Design & Production student, Mia Capoli, along with Jacob Kemp, History; Andrea Cardoni of the School of Education; and Vida Manalang, Psychology.
The Co-Op Theatre Company is a resident theater company run by students that produces shows as part of the Theater Program at Drexel University and is sponsored by the Department of Performing Arts, click here to learn more. Interested in applying for a Theatre Scholarship? Applications are open all year round, and incoming Freshmen are auditioning now. Contact Nick Anselmo at email@example.com for more information.
Warning: Contains Adult Content
Avenue Q has not been authorized or approved by the Jim Henson Company or Sesame Workshop, which have no responsibility for its content.
Tickets for Avenue Q are available now, to purchase click here.
May 11-13 // 8PM // Mandell Theater // Tickets here
May 13-14// 2PM // Mandell Theater // Tickets here