Tyler Moon performs as Kate Monster during Timberline Secondary School’s musical production of Avenue Q. The show has two runs: Feb. 28- 29 and March 5-7. Still by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

WATCH: Timberline brings puppets alive for musical production of Avenue Q

‘It’s the kind of musical you would go see if you’re not usually a fan of musicals,’ says actor

Alysha Irvine never thought she’d be a theatre kid.

“I came to this school and it was like musical theatre? Nope,” she says. But then three years ago, she watched part of a production: Wizard of Oz. “It was actually pretty amazing to watch.”

The Grade 12 Timberline student signed up for musical theatre the following year not really knowing what to expect. She caught the bug.

This Friday, Irving will star alongside her classmates in their production of Avenue Q – School Edition.

The cast likes to describe it as “Sesame Street for adults.”

RELATED: Curtain call: Timberline prop master’s final production

“It’s the kind of musical you would go see if you’re not usually a fan of musicals. It’s very fun. It’s very out there,” says Irvine. “There’s some things in there you wouldn’t expect to see anywhere else, especially with the puppets.”

The show follows Avenue Q newcomer Princeton, a recent college grad. He meets the residents of Avenue Q and soon discovers it’s “not your ordinary neighbourhood,” according to licensing agency Musical Theatre International.

Singing and dancing isn’t easy at the best of times but this year’s cast has a new wrench thrown in: puppets.

They actually outnumber the human characters in the show.

“It’s been really interesting,” says Irvine. “It’s not like any musical I’ve been in.”

Irvine plays “Christmas Eve”, one of the show’s few human characters.

“She is an Asian therapist who moved there from Japan awhile ago,” says Irvine. “She is very head strong and very blunt. And she is married to the other human character in the show whose name is Brian and their relationship is quite funny.”

Irvine explains that one of the harder aspects of acting with puppets is actually directing your attention to the puppet over the puppeteer.

RELATED: Timberline wows with Fame: The Musical

“Usually, with actors, we focus on the other actor in front of us, but this year, we can’t do that. We have to focus on the puppet and pretend they’re the person we’re actually talking to because in a sense, they are,” she says. “So it’s been pretty interesting, especially watching the actors with puppets learn how to use their puppets.”

The school is fortunate. Ben Bellosillo, who graduated last spring, designed and created all of the puppets in the show. He even made doubles so the practice puppets can be swapped out with their showtime counterparts.

“They all have their idiosyncrasies,” says teacher and musical director Celine Ouellette. “They’re all quite cute.”

For someone who was unsure of musical theatre to start, Irvine has a tough time with it coming to a close.

“We always describe it like we’re a family basically, and at the beginning of the year, you don’t really know anybody. You might know a few people, but you don’t really know them that well and by the end of it, you’re saying each other’s lines, you’re telling inside jokes,” she says. “It’s really emotional when it ends actually because you put all this work in for like five or six months and you’re spending hours doing the same thing over and over again, running the same scenes over and over again and it seems really tedious and you’re like, ‘Oh I can’t wait until this is over,’ but then when it’s actually ending, you don’t want it to end.”

Opening night is Friday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. There are also shows on Feb. 29, March 5, 6, and 7 in the Timberline Theatre.

Tickets are available online at Timberline Secondary’s website. Tickets for seniors and students are $12, while adult tickets are $15. The show’s content is not suitable for younger viewers.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Campbell River School District 72

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shelter Point Distillery won several Canadian Whisky Awards this year, including a gold for best single malt. Facebook photo
Vancouver Island’s Shelter Point Distillery wins gold for single malt

Business won nine medals at recent Canadian Whisky Awards virtual ceremony

Nootka Sound RCMP responded to a workplace fatality report south of Gold River on Monday morning. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
One dead in accident at Western Forest Product’s TFL 19 logging site in Gold River

The RCMP and Work Safe BC are investigating the incident

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Sean Smyth is expected to be announced the winner of the municipal by-election for city council today. Photo provided
Sean Smyth to replace Babchuk on council

Sean Smyth is expected to be named the winner of the 2021… Continue reading

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Vancouver Island sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Nanaimo store, cutting himself in the process

Riverside Calvary Church in Walnut Grove. (Langley Advance Times file)
B.C. is ‘stereotyping’ churches as riskier for COVID than other spaces, lawyer argues

Judge said that freedom of expression, religion are not at issue in the case

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent comes first and last for B.C. industrial projects

Environment minister can still approve permits without consent

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Kootenay man appeals 7-year conviction for New Year’s Eve kidnapping, beating

Brandon Coons, 27, was convicted on five charges, including assault with a weapon

Ladysmith’s famous Festival of Lights decorations are still up as of March 1, 2021. (Cole Schisler photo)
PHOTOS: It’s still looking a lot like Christmas in Ladysmith

Festival of Lights volunteers cannot remove the holiday roof top displays due to COVID-19

An investigation is underway after two VPD officers were recorded posing for pictures near a dead body at Third Beach on Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
Vancouver officers placed on desk duty after filmed posing next to dead body

Pair put in ‘non-deployable, admin positions’ as the investigation into their conduct continues

(Black Press file photo)
Homicide team to look into death of 11-year-old Agassiz boy

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Most Read