AVENUE Q: SCHOOL EDITION To Be Presented By Nashville Children's Theatre's Emerging Artists

July 15
10:31 PM 2012

AVENUE Q: SCHOOL EDITION To Be Presented By Nashville Children's Theatre's Emerging Artists

Nashville Children'sTheatre will unveil its second student summer musical production on July 27 and 28 with Avenue Q: School Edition, based on the original Broadway hit and Tony Award-winning musical by Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty.

Following up on the success of last year's Once Upon A Mattress, NCT's education department considered numerous scripts before making the choice to do Avenue Q: School Edition.

 "Working with our students on Avenue Q: School Edition is such a dynamic and vibrant process," says Alicia Fuss, NCT education director. "The students relate on a personal level to the show's themes of growing up in a world that is more challenging than they thought it would be as young children. Plus, the comic style of the script is very different from any we have worked with in the past."

After passing an audition, students in grades 8 – 12 were cast in the show and will perform a fully staged production as the culmination of the Emerging Artists summer drama camp. For Avenue Q: School Edition, not only have the students been rehearsing their acting, singing and dancing, but many of the cast members have also been involved in specific puppet workshops.

Fuss directs the production with Shawn Knight as musical director.

"The addition of puppetry brings a fresh and unique set of acting challenges for our young performers", says Fuss. "I'm astounded by the students' insight, professionalism, and commitment to the process."

The puppets used in NCT's Avenue Q: School Edition were created by professional puppeteer and puppet builder Russ Walko (rosswalko.com). NCT's production will be the first use of the brand new puppets.

Performances of Avenue Q: School Edition are Friday, July 27 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, July 28 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person and can be reserved in advance by calling (615) 254-9103 or at www.nashvillechildrenstheatre.org.

In Avenue Q: School Edition,  Princeton, a recent college graduate, moves into a shabby New York City apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. He soon discovers that although the residents seem nice, it's clear that this is not your ordinary neighborhood. Together, Princeton and his newfound friends struggle to find jobs, dates and their ever-elusive purpose in life.

Avenue Q: School Edition has music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, book by Jeff Whitty and is based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx


Pictured: Top row: Garyn McIntyre, Bonny Green, Bo Vaughn; and bottom row: Holland Curtis, Alex Bernui

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors - the history of which can be traced to 1989 and the first presentation of The First Night Awards - which honor outstanding theater artisans from Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and also includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors recognition. Midwinter's First Night honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. An accomplished director, Ellis helmed productions of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, all in their Nashville premieres, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show. Ellis was recognized by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.


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