Starting Nov. 6, Tech’s campus will be overrun by puppets in the production of “Avenue Q” at the Backdoor Playhouse in Jere Whitson Building.
Mark Creter, artistic director for the Backdoor Playhouse, decided to embark on another musical journey in the theater, but this time there is a new element to the show—puppets.
“I have worked with puppets in my Creative Dramatics class and incorporated puppets in the production of ‘Richard III’ I directed in Knoxville last summer,” he said. “I have always been intrigued by puppets. I loved watching ‘Sesame Street’ with my son when he was little.”
The Tony Award-winning musical, “Avenue Q,” is a coming-of-age story about a recent college graduate, Princeton, and the trials and tribulations he and his new friends encounter in the real world after moving to a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q.
“If ‘Sesame Street’ and ‘South Park’ had a child, and the child was raised by Stephen Sondheim and David Mamet, that child would be ‘Avenue Q,’” said Creter.
Samia Anderson, who will be playing the part of Kate Monster, is venturing into a new type of role that she has never experienced before.
“Kate Monster is kind of the sweet and innocent girl,” said Anderson. “That's the kind of part that I have never played before, so I love getting to explore that kind of character.”
“The auditions took place last week and we had about 40 people come out which is exciting,” Creter said. “There is a lot of talent on this campus and in the community.”
The cast list was posted a few days after the conclusion of auditions filled with cold-readings and singing.
Buster Shadwick was cast as the role of Trekkie Monster, and he said he couldn’t wait to begin working on his character.
“Trekkie Monster is like the icing on the cake, or the dessert if you will,” Shadwick said. “He makes the least appearances, but when he takes the stage, people are going to bust out laughing.”
With songs such as “The Internet Is for Porn” and “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist,” audiences should be prepared to shed a few tears of laughter.
For audiences who do not know what to expect, Shadwick suggested that students should not take this show too seriously.
“It's humor knows no bounds, so be prepared to laugh and bring a grain of salt,” said Shadwick.
Performances will be Nov. 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14 and 15 at 8 p.m., including a late-night performance on Nov. 13 at 10 p.m. and a matinee performance on Nov. 15 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for senior citizens and $5 for non-Tech students. Tech students get in free with their student ID.
If you would like to learn more about upcoming events at the Backdoor Playhouse, go to tntech.edu/cas/English/bdph or visit their Facebook page.