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Final USD performance of Tony Award-winning Avenue Q is tonight at 7 30

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre will present its final performance of the one-of-a-kind musical comedy, “Avenue Q,” tonight (Monday, Dec. 5) in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.

"Avenue Q," a Tony Award-winning production that combines puppets and live performers, addresses issues like unemployment, relationships and racism. The action focuses on Princeton (Josh Kolb of Loveland, Colo.), a recent college graduate who ventures to New York City. Unemployed, Princeton can only afford to live on Avenue Q, an unusual neighborhood and home to some extraordinary characters, including Brian (Cody Strand of Brandon, S.D.), a man who dreams of becoming a standup-comic; Christmas Eve (Jessie Atkinson of Sioux City, Iowa), Brian’s fiancée and a therapist with no patients; Kate Monster (Eleanor Petersen of Valentine, Neb.), a kindergarten teaching assistant; roommates Rod (Steve Schaeffer of Sioux Falls, S.D.) and Nicky (Tim Huggenburger of Sioux City, Iowa); Trekki Monster (Gabriel Gomez of Fargo, N.D.), a surly, computer-surfing recluse; and the building superintendent, Gary Coleman (Kendra Bolan of Lincoln, Neb.).

The cast of “Avenue Q” trained in puppet technique with two professional puppeteers: Douglas Strich, a USD alum who is employed at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre in New York City; and Jennifer Barnhart, a professional actress and puppeteer who was also a member of the original Broadway cast of “Avenue Q.” Because of mature themes and strong language, “Avenue Q” is not appropriate for children.

Tickets ($15 adults, $9 K-12 & non-USD students with ID, and just $4 for USD students with I.D.) for tonight's finale can be reserved by calling the USD Theatre Box Office at (605) 677-5400 or by going online at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News