STUDENT FEATURE: Jillian Couilliard

Are you interested in seeing Avenue Q this weekend? You should be.
Over here at InstaRam, we can hardly contain ourselves. So many Q-themed events are going around all over campus this week, inspired by the charming (and surprisingly racist) characters.

We got a chance to speak to one of the faces BEHIND the puppets – Jillian Couilliard, who provides the puppeteering and performance for lead Kate Monster.

INSTARAM: What is your major/year?
JILLIAN COUILLIARD: Senior, Theatre Major

What activities are you involved in on and off campus?
COUILLIARD: I work at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum as an actor. I am also an assistant set designer to Richard Chambers in the theatre department. I’ve worked there for 4 years doing that on shows such as Anything Goes, Into the Woods, and Car Talk: The Musical!!!

Explain the work you’re doing in Avenue Q – what is it like to work with puppets?!
COUILLIARD: Avenue Q has been an amazing experience. I grew up watching Sesame Street, so this show has really brought some childhood memories back. It is interesting to see how the puppets are brought to life. Honestly, Kate has become a real person in my mind. It usually takes about an hour relaxing for me to stop talking in her voice after the show.

How did you get involved with theatre, and with the PAO in particular?
COUILLIARD: I started dancing when I was little. I grew up a competitive dancer and just happened to fall into singing when someone didn’t show up for a musical I was dancing in. I started theatre in high school. My first show was Once on This Island. I came to Suffolk to continue working on theatre skills and met some people from the PAO at the Temple Street Fair.

What is your favorite role that you’ve played previously?
COUILLIARD: Previously, I was in These Seven Sicknesses as The Carrier. That was really fun because I got to work with Wes Savick on SEVEN different shows. I also got to ride a scooter. Other than that, I’d say my favorite role I’ve ever played would be Mimi in Rent.

Random Q: What is the strangest talent you have?
COUILLIARD: This isn’t strange but I like to embroider. I am working on a Tea Party quilt at home.

Come and check out Avenue Q on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at 8 PM in the C. Walsh theatre! Tickets are free and are currently available at the HUB.

Stay tuned for more sneak peeks at the production. It’s one that you definitely will not want to mess!

A special thanks to Jillian Couilliard – who kindly let us interview her while she was in the rush of tech week!