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

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 reporting on Fairy Tale Emergencies in a 2007 episode.

Sesame girls coloring

Rosita, Abby Cadabby, Prairie Dawn, and Zoe.


Episode 4904


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

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.

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 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 hosted and frequently tried to keep Cookie Monster from eating the Letter of the Day. She can also be seen on the TV series Play with Me Sesame. On that series, Prairie Dawn presented artwork submitted by viewers.

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 blond, pig-tailed 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.

Despite regular appearances throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Prairie's role on the show had greatly diminished by Season 39, and she appeared in very little new material outside of a few live appearances. Prairie referenced to her absence during a 2013 appearance at New York Comic Con, saying "I've been in my box."[1] Prairie made a resurgence in appearances in Season 45, appearing in a sketch with Cookie Monster, the concurrent special The Cookie Thief, and in framing scenes for the video Monster Manners.

Following Fran Brill's retirement, Stephanie D'Abruzzo took over performing Prairie Dawn starting with Season 46. She was the central character in the Orange is the New Black parody, and was featured prominently in episodes 4608 and 4629, and in promo material for the show's move to HBO.


  • Prairie Dawn's birthday is August 3.
  • The character was named after an actress named Prairie Dorn, according to Fran Brill in Sesame Street Unpaved.
  • Prairie Dawn's Mom's name is Delta.[2]
  • According to The Sesame Street Dictionary, Sammy the Snake is Prairie Dawn's pet.
  • Fran Brill has stated that she enjoyed performing Prairie because "since she's a little older I can get away with pushing the envelope with her."
  • Prairie apparently wears "Days of the Week" underwear; when Joey Mazzarino checked under her dress for the Henson stitch at The Paley Center for Media (for a screening of Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey), he was asked by Tau Bennett why. Prairie replied, "He was just checking to see what day of the week it was!" This was a gag first done by Frank Oz in between taping.[3]
  • When Brill retired in 2014, she received an authentic Prairie Dawn puppet as a gift from the show's producers.[4] Brill's last on-screen performance as Prairie was in The Cookie Thief, where Prairie's last spoken line is "I think it may be time for me to retire!"
  • Although Prairie is usually said to be six-years-old, at an appearance at New York Comic Con in 2013, she said that she's seven.


Book appearances

Album appearances

Character merchandise

See also


  1. YouTube video (39:47)
  2. Leslie Carrara-Rudolph: Now Showing on Screen
  3. Brill, Fran. The Muppet Mindset interview. November 17, 2010.
  4. Muppet Guys Talking "Show & Tell" promotional video

Start a Discussion Discussions about Prairie Dawn

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