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Avenue Q

A USC Libraries Exploration

Kim Esser

To build on your learning experience at Avenue Q, the USC Libraries present a selection of resources that illustrate the history of musical theater in America and the use of puppets to animate and elucidate the human experience.

How would you describe angst-ridden puppets tackling coming-of-age issues?  How about Sesame Street meets South Park meets Rent?  Avenue Q, the 2004 Tony Award-winning Broadway smash hit, brings puppets (and their puppeteers) to life on stage, where they musically mull over classic twentysomething quandaries in songs like “What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?” “There’s Life outside Your Apartment,” and “The Money Song.”

"Through puppetry we accept the outrageous, the absurd, or even the impossible and will permit puppets to say and do things no human could. We allow a puppet to talk to us when no one else can get us to speak. We allow a puppet to smile at us even when we have not been introduced. We also allow a puppet to touch us when a person would lose an arm for the same offence." 

-- Puppeteer Anita Sinclair


Featured Books

Avenue Q, the Zachary Pincus-Roth book
Available in the USC Music Library  ML50 .L86A93 2006

Avenue Q, the original Broadway cast sound recording
Available in the USC Music Library  10405mus

The American Musical and the Performance of Musical Identity, by Raymond Knapp
Available in the USC Music Library  ML2054 .K6 2006

The American Musical: History and Development, by Peter H. Riddle
Available in the USC Music Library  ML2054 .R532 2003

Our Musicals, Ourselves: A Social History of the American Musical Theater, by John Bush Jones
Available in Leavey Library and the USC Music Library  ML1711 .J65 2003

Puppetry: A World History, by Eileen Blumenthal
Available in Doheny Library  PN1972 .B57 2005

Theatre of Animation: Contemporary Adult Puppet Plays in Context
Available through Ebrary


USC Libraries Databases

American Drama contains more than 1500 plays by American dramatists that chronicle the history and culture of theater in America.

International Index to the Performing Arts Full Text covers nearly all aspects of performing arts, from scholarly studies to snapshots of popular culture.

Theatre in Video features more than 250 definitive performances of the world's leading plays, together with more than 100 film documentaries, online in streaming video.

The official Avenue Q Web site provides more information about the play as well as downloadable podcasts.



For more questions about Avenue Q or research assistance, please contact USC librarian Kim Esser at