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Northwestern grad's student project proved avenue to Broadway

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

We first met her in 1993 when Northwestern University senior Stephanie D'abruzzo manufactured the puppets, wrote the music and recorded the voices for a video sequence. Winning an Emmy, it would be her avenue to Broadway.

Today, she and her writer producer husband Craig Shemin, also a Northwestern grad, are visiting classes at the Evanston campus to talk with students. What are her thoughts about that student project of 12 years ago?

"I remember thinking that this was sort of a time when anything could happen as I was graduating from Northwestern. It just seemed like there were so many possibilities and that I had no idea what lay ahead of me," said Stephanie D'abruzzo, Broadway star.

What lay ahead would be a long tenure with Sesame Street and a Tony award for her role in the Broadway musical, Avenue Q. With puppets and people, it spoofs some of today's most controversial social issues.

"To be in a Tony award winning Broadway show, it's staggering, it's just staggering," said D'abruzzo. "I still see us as this little show that started out in the basement of this church theatre basement. We were the little show that could and we did and I'm part of it.

"I know that any success I have had is temporary. I know that I may not work tomorrow I know that the next show I work on may flop, but no matter what happens, I can say I did it."

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