By Hannah Nahar and Melanie
The show is mature enough to require some censorship: the song “The Internet is for Porn,” for example, has been changed to “Social Life is Online.” Various scenes with the Bad Idea Bears have been amended as well to lessen the focus on drinking. Even so, there are many adult aspects of the show that remain. The “May be inappropriate for children under 13” warning on the poster is a fair caveat.
“There’s still plenty that we didn’t cut,” senior Rose Taylor said. “Notably, Christmas Eve’s hilariously offensive Japanese accent, Lucy’s rather pronounced allure, Rod’s difficulty coping with his homosexuality, Trekkie Monster’s furry crudeness, and Gary Coleman the washed-up-child-star superintendent.”
Taylor acknowledged that the cast faced challenges working around a few awkward moments in the beginning, but eventually managed to overcome them.
The cast faced their biggest challenge in learning an entire new skillset, puppetry, within the fall rehearsal period.
The cast learned that handling a puppet is, in layman’s terms, not easy.
“It was difficult to get used to it, but it’s really rewarding now that we know what we’re doing,” cast member Conrad Buys said.
Important challenges included learning how to properly focus the puppets’ eyes, and how to sync the actor’s words to the movement of the puppet’s mouth. Dancing also added a whole new element to the puppetry.
Still, most actors agreed that the work they did learning to use the puppets was entirely worth it.
“Avenue Q is a hilarious show,” cast member Frances Cooke said. “But the puppets give it a depth that no other shows have.”
Tech member Sophie Cash agrees. “It’s not a conventional show in that the puppetry adds to it another theatrical element,” Cash said. “It would not be the show that is without [the puppets].”
Fortunately for the actors, Evan Kelly, South Stage’s tech director, is not a novice at puppetry. Kelly was able to provide the cast with knowledge and direction.
His skillset as a tech director also gave him the ability to influence the set and to know every member of his team personally, actors and techies alike. Avenue Q will mark his first time directing, and the actors agree that he is doing a good job of running the show.
“He calls out on you when you do something wrong,” junior cast member Saranya Ramadurai said. “He really picks up on the nitty-gritty details.”
Though Kelly’s presence is greatly helping the actors, many of the “techies” notice that he has less time for technological direction. Knowing about his absence beforehand, many students, seniors in particular, are stepping up and working more than normal.
“I’ve definitely stayed later than many of the actors,” Cash said.
Although the puppets create added work, they add an element of fun and creativity that sets the show apart for both its actors and its audience.
The show goes up Thursday, Oct. 11,, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 13. The shows will be in the Seasholes Auditorium at 7:30; tickets are $10 for general admission and $14 for reserved seating.
“This is just a show about real life, that maintains a playful Sesame Street-esque element,” Cash said.