One of the main themes being explored in Urinetown is water conservation and the corporate exploitation of natural resources. One thing we are trying to raise awareness with Urinetown is the water shortage problem seen within our country and around the world, and getting the audience to become aware of the issue while hoping that they will get up to make a change in their lifestyles.
Urinetown takes place twenty years after the fictional “Stink Years”. This was a time when the water tables started dropping and kept on dropping. It was during this time when Mr. Cladwell, founder and CEO of Urine Good Company, seized his opportunity to opened his private public restrooms to control water consumption.
Now this may seem improbable to many of us today. However, usable fresh water is a serious problem around the world and even here in the US. Water.org says that there are 780 million people that lack access to clean water, and to put that into perspective, that is more than two and a half times the United States population. The United Nations reported that water usage has grown at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century. While National Geographic stated that there has been an 800% increase in water consumption per person in industrialized nations.
Things to help combat this issue are things we hear everyday, but they can make a huge impact. For one thing you can turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving. Take shorter showers. These are just a few options but there are dozens of ways to conserve. Just by remaining conscious about the issue can make a huge difference.
Since the last post a lot has happened! The biggest being that we have finally moved into the Newhart Family Theatre! The transition was very smooth from Room 409 into the theatre. While we did have to re-stage some things for a better fit in the new space, but this was very quick and painless. But it has been very helpful for the actors to begin rehearsing on the set and feeling out the space. Another new factor that we have recently added was mic-ing all the actors. Our sound designer, Mikhail Fiksel, has decided to start this process early because this will be the first show in the new space to use microphones. And he wanted to make sure that we would work out any problems early on in the process. All in all things are going very well. Stay tuned!
You may be asking yourself, “what is Urinetown?” Besides being a name of one of the songs in the show, Urinetown: The Musical, is a double political satire parody.
Greg Kotis, playwright of Urinetown, got the idea for this production when traveling in Europe and painfully discovered that the public restrooms were “pay-to-pee.” When he returned to the United States, he wrote the song “Privilege to Pee.”
Kotis then took this idea and song to friend, Mark Hollmann, and together they began the impudence of Urinetown. Daniel Marcus, the actor who originally played Officer Barrel called Urinetown, “a love letter to the American musical in the form of a grenade.”
Well, rehearsals for this spectacular show have finally begun as of February 25! The first week consisted of the show’s designers presenting their material to the actors. Everyone seemed very excited about this process finally starting! Under the guidance of our music director, Michael McBride, the actors also learned the show’s music and sang through every song in the show.
The following week, during Spring Break, our choreographer Linda Fortunato (with the aid of Lauren Serra) came in to choreograph all the show’s major dance pieces. One of the most amazing things about these first two weeks has been how quickly the actors have picked up the music, choreography, and line memorization and continue to come back for more. Now that we are steaming rolling into our third week, we have already staged the entire first act! Its hard to believe that tech week is only a few weeks away.