Melodramatics Theatre Company’s production of Avenue Q sells out Risley Theatre

Sexual puppets, crude humor, live music and roaring laughter from the audience filled Risley Theatre last weekend as The Melodramatics Theatre Company put on their fall semester musical. 

“I thought they did a really good job and clearly put a lot of effort into it,” Dimitris Salas ’26 said, who watched the Nov. 5 evening performance. “The show was very funny and entertaining and I loved the songs.”

The Melodramatics Theatre Company’s student-run production of the Tony-award winning Avenue Q played to three sold-out shows, resulting in waiting lists for each showing. 

“We were shocked, we were not expecting it,” said first-time director Thomas Myers ’26, who co-directed the show alongside Emily Rubinstein ’25. 

Avenue Q is a Broadway musical comedy and parody of beloved children’s show Sesame Street. The musical follows numerous twenty-something characters—puppets and not—as they navigate challenges such as sexuality, racism, love and finding one’s purpose in life. 

Premiering off-Broadway in 2003, Jeff Whitty, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx wrote the show as an unfiltered and humorous look at adulthood. Avenue Q is distinct in its politically incorrect and offensive humor, paired with its ironic use of unassuming puppets. 

According to Olivia Scaperotti ’25, who played puppet Kate Monster, Melodramatics Theatre Company had many conversations acknowledging its controversial content, making sure that the actors were comfortable in their portrayals.

U.S. Postal Service commemorates Toni Morrison, Ruth Bader Ginsburg through 2023 postal stamps

The United States Postal Service will honor trailblazing Cornell alumnae Toni Morrison M.A. ’55 and Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’54 through new postage stamps set to be issued in 2023. Morrison and Ginsburg’s stamps were revealed on October 24, alongside the Postal Service’s preliminary list of new designs. The stamps celebrate two of Cornell’s most prominent graduates. As Forever stamps, these commemorative works will always represent the existing price of one ounce First-Class Mail postage. 

A Pulitzer Prize-winner and the first African American Nobel Prize-winner for literature, Morrison was an accomplished author best known for her works like The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon and Beloved. 

“Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison was truly a genius and among the preeminent authors of world literature who helped to theorize and revolutionize American literature, while consistently reflecting on its history and culture in her vast body of writing,” Prof. Riché Richardson, africana studies, wrote in an email to the Sun. 

Morrison’s stamp, designed by USPS art director Ethel Kessler, features a photograph of Morrison taken in 2000 by Deborah Feingold. 

Alyiah Marie Gonzales grad did not know about Morrison’s new stamp but is excited to add a meaningful touch to her letters. “​​Toni Morrison both exploded my world and shined a brilliant light on all of the different worlds I’ve been living in,” Gonzales wrote in an email to the Sun.

Cornell Continues Annual Vaccination Clinics as Flu Season Begins

As flu season approaches, Cornell has decided to continue its annual partnership with Wegman’s Pharmacy to encourage community members to get vaccinated in order to reduce flu rates on campus. 

Cornellians can participate in flu vaccination clinics at Cornell Health on Ho Plaza from now until November 15. Though the clinics are open to all, only students, staff, faculty and retirees can participate for free. View the clinic schedule and sign up for a clinic timeslot here. “We strongly recommend that students get their flu shot every year because of how quickly and easily influenza can spread on a college campus and in shared living environments,” said Dr. Jada Hamilton, Medical Director and Interim Chief of Clinical Operations and Services at Cornell Health. The CDC recommends that the public, especially college students, receive their flu vaccinations before the end of October.