Oct 3, 2011

Puppet master to conduct workshop with USD Theatre students

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre will present the Tony Award-winning musical “Avenue Q” in December, but before the cast jumps into musical rehearsals they will have an intense weeklong workshop in puppetry with guest artist and alumnus Doug Strich.

While on campus, Strich will meet with several classes and provide background on the history and trends in puppetry as well as demonstrate various styles of puppetry, including Wu-Do and Chinese Rod puppetry.  The bulk of his time, however, will be spent with the cast of “Avenue Q,” introducing them to the finer points of performing with puppets. One of the unique aspects of “Avenue Q” is the fact that major characters in the musical are represented with puppets. A master class in puppetry – open to the campus and general public – is Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre.

Strich, who was introduced to puppetry through work with The Paper Moon Marionette Theatre in Atlantic Highlands, N.J., right out of high school, continued his exploration of this art form while pursuing a B.F.A. in Theatre Design at USD where he produced several productions with marionettes, including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” After graduating in 1996, Strich earned his M.A. in Puppet Arts from the University of Connecticut. He has since spent time working for The Great Arizona Puppet Theatre in Phoenix and currently for The City Parks Foundation of New York City as the marionette builder for the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre in Central Park.

“Avenue Q” is Dec.1-3 and Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre on the USD campus. For more information, contact the USD Theatre box office at (605) 677-5400 or online at www.usd.edu/theatre.

About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at www.usd.edu/press/news.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
(605) 216-1233
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