Avenue Q explores adult themes with help from puppets | Arts and Theatre

This isn’t your grandpa’s puppet show. While the characters may bear a resemblance to those in Sesame Street, instead of singing about counting and the alphabet, these puppets delve into catchy songs with titles like “What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?” and “The Internet is for Porn.”

Theatrikos Theatre Company will be presenting “Avenue Q: The Musical” to Flagstaff theater-goers next week. Puppets and humans interact in the play like it’s the norm while a puppet named Princeton struggles to live and find a job in the big city after graduating from college.

At the beginning of a rehearsal a little over a week from opening night, cast members intermittently complimented each other’s puppets and burst out into song before gathering to receive notes from their two directors.

Theatrikos veteran Jan Rominger co-directed the production with newcomer John Propster, both of whom have had prior experience working with puppets.

“I heard that Avenue Q was coming up for this summer and I said, ‘Yes! I wanna direct [it] as my first experience here at Theatrikos!” Propster said.

While some of the cast are new to the Theatrikos community, others have been performing for Flagstaff audiences for years, but they all share the same passion of the theater. Both directors had nothing but praises for the cast, noting how supportive they’ve been of each other and how fun the show has been to direct.

“I can’t even tell you how many musicals I’ve directed in my lifetime, but this one came together so quickly,” Rominger said. “They were off book, they had their blocking, they had their choreography in less than 3 weeks.”

Zach Mauck, who plays the parts of Princeton and Rod in his second performance with Theatrikos, is a student at Northern Arizona University who was looking for a creative outlet when he joined the…

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