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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Hi! My name is Hannah Jenkins, and I am one of the copy editors here at the North Wind. I am a sophomore at NMU, and I love all things writing and editing-related. I am proud to be a part of this great...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

LEAVE NO TRACE — Heather Vivian from Respect Marquette County educates on the impacts of outdoor recreation as part of the organizations mission of protecting natural resources.
Leave No Trace 101 workshop promotes protecting natural resources
Benjamin BuresDecember 1, 2023

‘Avenue Q’ brings puppets, music to NMU

By Crystal Nutt, contributing writer

The NMU Students Performing Arts Association and theater department will be showing “Avenue Q: The Musical” Thursday, Jan. 24 through 26 at the James A. Panowski Black Box Theatre.

The play, directed by post-baccalaureate theater major Susan Boyle, follows a recent college graduate named Princeton after he moves to New York City and into an apartment on Avenue Q, where he meets new friends.

The characters face real adult problems they must solve for themselves, because life is not as easy after college as they thought it would be, Boyle said.

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Boyle and the cast of 13 other students have been rehearsing the musical since October. It is part of her senior capstone project and her second full-length production. Boyle was offered the position of director after coming to the opening auditions earlier this year.

While she also participated in “The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee,” “1776” and “Bears,” this is her first production incorporating human and puppet characters together.

“Puppetry is a big challenge,” Boyle said. “Being able to manipulate and communicate with the puppets took some time…the puppets are handmade, everything was made in the prop shop.”

According to theater and media production double major Jalina Olgren, working on the production has been a unique experience.

“It’s been interesting working with puppets,” Olgren said. “Having a set in the Black Box was a challenge.”

Olgren, who is the production and stage manager for the musical, petitioned for “Avenue Q” last winter and helped with the program’s budget.

“We had to find funding,” Olgren said. “We went to the Student Finance Committee and the Students Performing Arts Association.”

Although there was help with the budget, all of the props and the set were created by the students working on the production.

“The entire production is made by students,” Olgren said. “Everything is run by the students, except the lighting.”

The cast is expecting a large turnout, but the adult musical comedy is for mature audiences only, Boyle said.

“It is most suited for college-aged students, between the ages of 16 to 30…we are expecting a lot of students.”

The format is similar to Sesame Street with its set design and human and puppet characters that interact together as well as with the audience, said graphics communications major Dorsey Sprouls.

“I like that I get to communicate with the audience,” said Sprouls, who plays a character named Bad Idea Bear in the musical. “It’s a very interesting role and it’s a great show…it’s an even mix between story and presentation.”

Written by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, the production has been performed on Broadway numerous times and won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical. This is the first time that it will appear at NMU.

“I’m really excited for [the cast] to have an audience, and to see how people will react,” Boyle said.

“Avenue Q: The Musical” will be shown at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24 through Saturday, Jan. 26 and at midnight on Friday, Jan. and Saturday, Jan, 26.

Tickets for NMU students and general public are $5 and can be purchased at any NMU EZ Ticket Outlets or at For more information, call the Forest Roberts Theatre at (906) 227-2553.

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