Avenue Q Post-Production
With "Avenue Q" winding down, crews and cast members are reflecting on the hard work they’ve put into the show, as well as how it’s paid off.
Set crew’s efforts were some of the most time-consuming. Senior and set crew head Jose Manuel Sorto-Salinas said that workdays at school lasted about 3 hours and 40 minutes, but could be as long as 7 hours on weekends. Details on the set required the most effort, as well as moving it into the main stage where the show was performed. Set crew added things like door platforms to help actors onstage, but also cut details like a slanted roof to save time.
Sophomore Maddie Lillich was head stage manager for the first time. It was her first time stage managing since last year’s production of Godspell, when she assistant stage managed. While she was nervous and stressed, "Avenue Q" was an opportunity for her to work on her confidence and assertiveness.
“I’m only a sophomore,” she said. “I had to work on not being scared of upperclassmen. But stage managing was a lot easier than I thought.”
Now, the focus shifts to actors who brought the colorful characters seen in the production to life.
“Fun fact- Princeton is just like Pippin,” Junior Tola Abitogun, who played both roles, said. “They both have similar personalities and mindsets”.
While playing Princeton didn’t require much research, handling a puppet was different. Avenue Q was Tola's first time working with a puppet, and he learned by watching videos of previous performances.
“I thought back to Sesame Street and tried to emulate it,” he said. Since he couldn’t do much with facial expressions, he turned to body expressions, like hand gestures.
Trekkie Monster is another character who is very expressive.
“When I first got the role, I was very worried for my voice," Senior Ilan Khalil said. "I had to play around with how to deliver the voice safely without completely ruining it.”
At first, Ilan practiced singing in an opera voice, and then added the rasp later on. He worked with sophomore Lexi King, who operated Trekkie’s arm. While the two were acquaintances before, sharing ideas about the character and working together brought them closer.
"Avenue Q" was a fun and unique show for everyone involved. SMS theatre students are proud to have been the first in the district to perform it.