Department of Music & Theatre opens “Avenue Q”

By: Katherine Colborn ~Managing Editor~


For lovers of musicals like “The Book of Mormon,” Xavier’s Department of Music and Theatre will be opening “Avenue Q,” a funny, quirky and delightfully crude coming-of-age story that is sure to resonate with students and adults alike.

Described by Director of Theatre Stephen Skiles as “an adult and raunchy Sesame Street,” the production uses puppetry to enhance its humor, allude to com­mon childhood experiences and to soften the profanity.

The musical follows Princeton, a recent college graduate who moves into a cheap apartment on a street called Avenue Q.

During his stay, he meets many new friends and gains a love inter­est, all the while searching for his place in life.

Skiles jokes about the warning given to the audience: the show contains “strong adult language, mature content and full frontal puppet nudity.”

“It’s poignant, but really, really funny … We get to do some pretty outrageous stuff,” Skiles said.

“I think it’s a great story, but for our acting students, it’s an in­credible challenge. They have to tell the story through puppets, which is really difficult.”aveq

The cast members have been working closely with profes­sional puppeteer Dylan Shelton.

“We brought in Dylan Shelton, the cre­ative director at Madcap Puppets, and he did two weeks of work with the students on puppetry skills,” Skiles said.

Though the students have been challenged with this new dramatic medium, Skiles is confi­dent in the cast and its abilities.

“We’ve got an unbelievable cast. Everyone brings something to the table,” Skiles said.

The cast includes many tal­ented and experienced students: first years Lydia Reagan, Ryan O’Toole and Hannah Sheppard, sophomores Nick Sherman, Griff Bludworth, Mary Bond, Maya Farhat, Ellen Godbey and Tatum Hunter, juniors John Rothan and Alex Spindler and seniors Zach Julian and Patrick Phillips.

Many of these students have been involved with various pro­ductions at Xavier including “Pirates of Penzance,” “Taming of the Shrew,” “Hairspray” and this year’s “The Crucible.”

This story is sure to resonate with many, not only through its plot, but in its humor and its technique.

The production will open at 7:30 p.m. on April 4 in Gallagher Student Theatre and will run until April 12.

For a schedule and ticket prices visit and click on the “Box Office” link.