Penn State Centre Stage to present 'Avenue Q'

February 05, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – Penn State Centre Stage will present the Tony Award-winning musical "Avenue Q" from Feb. 18 to 28 in the Playhouse Theatre. Directed by Courtney Young and music directed by Roberto Sinha, the production features an exciting cast comprised of current Penn State students, faculty and established Actors’ Equity performers.

Called "...savvy, sassy, and eminently likable – a breakthrough musical" (The New York Times) "Avenue Q" is a musical in two acts, conceived by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, who wrote the music and lyrics, with the book written by Jeff Whitty. Acclaimed for its groundbreaking use of puppets – animated by unconcealed puppeteers alongside human actors – "Avenue Q" is an "autobiographical and biographical" coming-of-age parable, addressing and satirizing the issues and anxieties associated with entering adulthood. Its characters lament that as children, they were assured by their parents and by children's television programs such as PBS's "Sesame Street" that they were "special" and "could do anything." As adults, however, they discover to their surprise and dismay that in the real world their options are limited and that they are no more "special" than anyone else.

Note: "Avenue Q" contains political, social, religious and sexual content.

Originally conceived as a television series, "Avenue Q" was developed as a stage production at the 2002 National Music Theatre Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut. It opened Off-Broadway in March 2003, co-produced by The New Group and the Vineyard Theatre, and transferred to Broadway in July 2003 where it won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Original Score. With 2,534 performances, "Avenue Q" ranks No. 23 on the list of longest running shows in Broadway history. The show ended its Broadway run on September 13, 2009, and then reopened Off-Broadway at New World Stages in October 2009.

“I am thrilled to be directing 'Avenue Q' for Penn State Centre Stage,” said Courtney Young, a second-year candidate for Penn State’s master of fine arts degree in directing for the Musical Theatre Stage degree. "I saw the original Broadway production of 'Avenue Q' and was blown away by the show’s inventiveness, irreverence and humor. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to direct a show that tells the story of finding one’s purpose in life with such candor, humor and heart. I am very excited that Penn State is bringing this incredible show to the community.”

The preview is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18; evening shows will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28; matinees will be at 2 p.m. Feb. 21 and 28. For additional show information, visit www.theatre.psu.edu. Tickets are available at Penn State Tickets Downtown, Eisenhower Box Office, Bryce Jordan Center or by calling 814-863-0255 or 800-ARTS-TIX. Group discounts are available.

Last Updated February 09, 2015