Irvine, Calif. (May 10, 2017) – UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts Department of Drama presents Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q as the final offering in its season – “THEM!” – an examination xenophobia, interpersonal alienation, and the voices of “the other.” With a book by Jeff Whitty and music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, this hilariously acerbic coming-of-age parable took home three Tony Awards in 2004, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. Originally conceived as a television series, and relying heavily on the use of puppets operated by unconcealed puppeteers, Avenue Q alludes to childhood classics such as Sesame Street, and mocks the message fed to children that everyone is “special” and able to do anything. As the characters in this world grow up, they meet life’s harsh truths one by one, and realize that nobody is more “special” than anyone else.

UCI Drama Professor and Vice Chair Don Hill directs this playful and at times hard-hitting commentary on all of the ways in which we pass judgment on each other based on societal stereotypes and/or personal difference. “After doing a number of darker plays this season which grappled with issues such as bigotry and immigration, we’re happy to finish with a show that is lots of fun to watch while still addressing serious themes,” Hill said. With songs such as "It Sucks to Be Me," "If You Were Gay," and "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," no group is exempt from the show’s self-aware, razor sharp mockery. Already an exploration of timeless themes, UCI’s production is rendered even more relevant by being set squarely in today’s political arena.

UCI Drama thanks you for accompanying our creative teams this past season, with an open heart and inquisitive mind, on this thought-provoking journey through the voices and experiences of “the other.” We invite you to stay tuned for more information on our 2017 – 18 season, as we explore The Business of Politics/The Politics of Business.

Performances and Ticket Information
Claire Trevor Theatre. Parking: 4000 Mesa Rd, Irvine, CA 92617
Evenings: June 3, 8, 9, 10 @ 8 p.m.
Evening: June 7 @ 7:30 p.m.
Matinees: June 4*, 10 @ 2 p.m.
General Admission $15 / Seniors & Groups 10+ $14 / UCI Students & Children under 17 $11. Box Office (949) 824-2787 or www.arts.uci.edu/tickets.

The UCI Drama production team will host a post-performance TalkBack on June 4th after the 2 p.m. matinee with the creative team and cast.

About UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts: As UCI’s creative laboratory, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts explores and presents the arts as the essence of human experience and expression, through art forms ranging from the most traditional to the radically new. The international faculty works across a wide variety of disciplines, partnering with others across the campus.  National-ranked programs in art, dance, drama, and music begin with training but end in original invention. Students come to UCI to learn to be citizen-artists, to sharpen their skills and talents, and to become the molders and leaders of world culture. For more information, visit www.arts.uci.edu.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.