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Eastern Students Make Puppets for Avenue Q

Published on April 09, 2015

Eastern Students Make Puppets for Avenue Q

Two Eastern Connecticut State University students helped make puppets for the West Hartford Community Theatre’s production of Avenue Q, a renowned musical considered to be the adult version of Sesame Street. Led by the production’s Stage Manager Kristen Conaty, a former Eastern student, students Zack Lasala and Caitlighn Foley made 16 easily-transferrable puppets for Avenue Q’s upcoming three-show tour in Italy.

While Conaty was majoring in communication at Eastern, Theatre Professor Chase Rozelle helped land her a job at the Hartford Children’s Theatre in 2007. Since then, she has worked on a number of productions across the country and completed her education at a film school in Las Vegas. “When I was at Eastern, puppetry wasn’t offered in the theatre program, so I figured this would be a great hands-on learning experience for interested students,” said Conaty. “Even better, the puppets will actually be used in the production.”

While Sesame Street educationally addresses the milestones of childhood, Avenue Q satirically addresses the anxieties of adulthood. To aid with the production, Lasala, a junior majoring in communication, and Foley, a sophomore majoring in theatre, built simple puppets made of cardboard, personifying many of the props on stage, such as a heart monitor and cassette tape, with eyes and moving mouths. “The director wants everything to have life,” said Conaty. Lasala, a theatre minor, said, “I’ve done some theatre work in the past, and thought it would be fun to stop by and make some puppets.”

Written by Michael Rouleau