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Deputy Commandant Information


Sesame Street characters sing, dance into hearts of military children

By Sgt. Melissa Karnath | | May 12, 2014


Characters from Sesame Street performed a show for families at the Little Hall Theatre at Marine Corps Base Quantico, May 8. 

The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families tour  was created to assist service members and their families to help cope with challenges they encounter such as deployments, homecomings and moving. This year the tour plans to perform over 200 shows at 69 military bases in 32 states.

“[The show] brings families together and gets spouses involved with the Marine Corps community,” said Sergeant Tyler Szarenski, a court reporter stationed at MCB Quantico and a native of St. Charles, Mich. 

This show featured Sesame Street characters who are helping their friend Katie, who is Elmo’s military friend. Katie is feeling sad because she is moving to a new military base with her family soon and will be leaving her friends behind. Katie’s Sesame friends help her though her this hard time by looking at positive aspects about moving and learning good ways to express emotions. During the show, Katie and her friends talk about staying in touch after she moves with letters, pictures and phone calls. 

“The show is such an amazing experience,” said Jeff Mensch, Sesame Street show company manager. “The show gives thanks to service members and their families who do so much for our country.”

The show featured singing and dancing by Katie and her Sesame Street friends: Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover and Rosita. During the show, children danced and waved their free toys. At the show’s conclusion, smiling children greeted characters at the front of the stage.

“I’ve had people personally thank me after the shows,” Mensch said. “Military parents have told me that after the show they have an improved way to talk to their children about moving.”