Department of Theatre Brings Hit Broadway Comedy 'Avenue Q' to Northwest Arkansas

Puppets conceived and designed by Rick Lyon. Constructed by Character Translations Inc. for Music Theatre International.
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Puppets conceived and designed by Rick Lyon. Constructed by Character Translations Inc. for Music Theatre International.

The Department of Theatre in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences presents the Broadway hit, Avenue Q, opening Friday, Nov. 10.

Humans and puppets share the stage in this hilarious tale of young adults learning to live and love in New York City. This Tony Award-winning musical has been compared to a grown-up version of Sesame Street, featuring adult humor and hit songs such as "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist" and "It Sucks To Be Me." 

Though much of the cast is made up of adorable puppets, this is not a show recommended for children. This production contains strong language, adult themes and full-frontal puppet nudity.

Avenue Q features music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, and a book by Jeff Whitty. It is based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. The show was initially conceived as a television series, then developed into a stage musical in 2002. The first full production opened in March of 2003, directed by Fayetteville native Jason Moore, and was transferred to Broadway just four months later. It won three Tony Awards, including beating out Wicked for Best Musical. The Department of Theatre is the first theatre company in Northwest Arkansas to mount a local production.

Morgan Hicks, clinical assistant professor of theatre, directs a cast of graduate and undergraduate students in the University of Arkansas production. The cast has been rehearsing for six weeks, including special training in puppetry. The production also features scenic design by Broadway designer Anna Louizos, puppet design by Rick Lyon, costume design by M.F.A. candidate Melissa Rooney, lighting design by M.F.A. candidate Eric Armstrong, and sound design by senior undergraduate Wyatt Williams. Assistant professor Jason Burrow is the music director, and choreography was done by Gail Leftwich, dance instructor for the Department of Theatre.

Avenue Q opens Friday, Nov. 10 at the University Theatre in the Fine Arts Center on campus. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. Additional performances are Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. Please note, there is no performance on Saturday, Nov. 19 due to the Razorback home game.

Ticket prices are $20 for adults; $16 for faculty, staff and seniors; and $5 for students and children under the age of 18. University of Arkansas students may attend the show free on Nov. 15 and 16. Tickets are available at theatre.uark.edu or at the box office 90 minutes prior to each performance.

For questions, please email theatre@uark.edu or call (479) 575-4752. For parking information and directions to the University Theatre, please visit fulbright.uark.edu/departments/theatre/box-office-information

Avenue Q is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. Avenue Q has not been authorized or approved by the Jim Henson Company or Sesame Street Workshop, which have no responsibility for its content.

Contacts

Ashley Cohea, theatre business manager
Department of Theatre
479-575-6067, acohea@uark.edu

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