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PERFORMER Fran Brill 1971-2015
  Stephanie D'Abruzzo 2016-present
DEBUT 1971
DESIGN Jim Henson designer
  Caroly Wilcox designer and builder

Prairie Dawn in Episode 0252, one of her earliest appearances.


Prairie Dawn in her natural habitat, playing piano for a pageant.


Prairie in her yellow-trim dress, given to her around Season 29.


In a 2006 appearance on Clips & Quips.


Sesame Street Jam: A Musical Celebration


A new Prairie puppet first appeared around 2008. This version combines her original design with a more modern look.


Prairie Dawn with Betty Lou in the View-Master set Green Earth Blue Skies.


Betty Lou and Prairie Dawn in the credits of a Season 10 episode.

Prairie monster 3827

"Prairie Monster" in Episode 3827.


Prairie reporting on Fairy Tale Emergencies in a 2007 episode.

Sesame girls coloring

Rosita, Abby Cadabby, Prairie Dawn, and Zoe.


In Episode 4812 (titled "Hair Training") Prairie's hair was temporarily lengthened to down her back in order for it to work better for that episode's storyline.


Episode 4904


Fran Brill puppeteering Prairie for an interview for Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street.


In 2013, Prairie Dawn made several guest appearances on Germany's Sesamstrasse.


Prairie Dawn with four goldfish in the book One Rubber Duckie.


Prairie's apartment in 129 Sesame Street.

Prairie Dawn is a level-headed, six-year-old Muppet girl on Sesame Street. She is known for writing and directing school pageants featuring her friends, mostly Ernie, Bert, Herry, Grover, and Cookie Monster, for which she also plays the piano.

Detail-oriented and efficient, Prairie often aspires to work in broadcasting or journalism, presenting "Fairy Tales Today" on Sesame Street itself, serving as a correspondent for the Monster News Network in Sesame Street Stays Up Late ("I'm not really a monster, but it is a job in communications."), and directing the broadcast of Elmopalooza prior to being trapped with Jon Stewart and the rest of the crew.

In addition to her pageants, she has been seen in her own segments, chronicling "The Adventures of Prairie Dawn." From Season 35 to Season 37, she frequently tried to keep Cookie Monster from eating the Letter of the Day. She was also one of the hosts of the TV series Play with Me Sesame, initially presenting artwork submitted by viewers and later a segment centered on music.

Prairie Dawn has appeared in a number of game show sketches. She has been a contestant on at least two of Guy Smiley's game shows -- "The Triangle Is Right" and "What's My Letter?" -- and was also the subject of another Guy Smiley game show, "What's Prairie's Problem?" She has also been a contestant on "Squeal of Fortune", and has appeared in "The New Here is Your Life" sketch about a Glass of Milk, and made appearances in "The Letter of the Day Games."

Prairie Dawn is sometimes confused with the blonde, pigtailed Betty Lou, because both are based on the Hot Pink Little Anything Muppet. Although the two were rarely seen together on screen, they were often paired in book appearances, such as The Sesame Street Sun.

Baby Prairie Dawn and her mom are two of the main characters in Sesame Beginnings. Her dad appears in a 1980 story book, she has an Aunt Dusk, and another aunt named Matty seen in Sesame Stories. According to the game show "What's Prairie's Problem?", she has a baby brother named Attila. Her autobiographical song "All By Myself" meanwhile mentions a "yucky big brother."


Prairie first appeared on the show in season 2, developing a personality as an Anything Muppet, and eventually gaining a name. Her earliest known appearance was during the song "Surprise!" (First: Episode 0173) as part of a crowd that surprises Herbert Birdsfoot in a cutaway scene. She's called Penelope in a sketch with Sherlock Hemlock (First: Episode 0178) and appears unnamed in a sketch about DANGER with Gordon (First: Episode 0182), preparing to play baseball (First: Episode 0193), sorting shoes with Herry Monster (First: Episode 0199), and inviting monsters to dinner (First: Episode 0248). A penchant for speaking elaborately emerged in these sketches and was present in two of her first named appearances, both in Street scenes in Episode 0252 and Episode 0260.

Performer Fran Brill reflected on how Prairie got her name in the book Sesame Street Unpaved:

I was sitting in an agent's office, trying to get representation, and there was a stack of 8x10 photos on the desk. I started to flip through them and I came across this actress—"Prairie Dorn." I couldn't believe that someone had this name, "Prairie." So I came back to Jim Henson and said, "I just came across this goofy name," and then I don't know who came up with 'Dawn,' but obviously we didn't want to use this poor actress's name, "Dorn," so she became Prairie Dawn.[1]

Before Fran Brill's retirement in September 2014, her final onscreen performances as Prairie included the framing scenes for the video Monster Manners, a Season 45 sketch, and the special The Cookie Thief. In the latter, Prairie's last spoken line is "I think it may be time for me to retire!" Stephanie D'Abruzzo took over the character starting with Season 46, with her first aired Prairie performances being a central role in the Orange is the New Black parody (First: Episode 4604), as well as a promo promoting the show's move to HBO.


  • Prairie Dawn's birthday is August 3.
  • Although Prairie is usually said to be six-years-old (as mentioned in the song "All By Myself"), at an appearance at New York Comic Con in 2013, she said that she's seven. Although her age isn't stated, in Episode 2940, she blows out seven candles on her birthday cake.
  • Upon Fran Brill's retirement, she received an authentic Prairie Dawn puppet as a gift from the show's producers.[3]


Episodic appearances[]

Book appearances[]

Album appearances[]

Character merchandise[]

See also[]