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