Fresh, Relevant and Provocative: ‘Urinetown, The Musical” Onstage

Can you afford to pay to pee? Can you afford not to? Set in a dystopian “near future” where decades of drought have led to water shortages and private toilets are outlawed, the evil Urine Good Company has taken control and charges people big fees to use public latrines, and those who can’t pay up…pay dearly… For three performances Urinetown, The Musical makes a splash at Mount Madonna School.

Fresh, relevant and provocative, Urinetown is a story with a controversial, edgy message couched in humor. On January 26 and 27 at 7:00pm and January 28 at 2:00pm, high school students will take the stage for performances at the school’s Hawks’ Nest Theater. Tickets on sale now at http://mmsurinetown.bpt.me. Adults are $16; 18 and under are $11. All seats are reserved.

“From a production level, the chorus is active, the music intriguing, and the dancing selective and dynamic,” comments Director Sampad Kachuck. “While the subject matter engenders healthy discussion, the style asks performers to inhabit their characters boldly but to play the comedy seriously. As our country debates nationalized health care versus privatization, struggles with the economy, confronts the reality of our decreasing resources, as well as evaluating ethically whether the end justifies the means, this play’s subject material is timely.”

“This play follows the Brechtian model,” he continued. “We are continually reminded we are in a play and the message is paramount: how are basic human rights balanced against constricting resources?”

Ninth grader Kira Kaplan, in her first high school play, reflected on the story’s underlying message.

“What does Urinetown teach us?” asked Kaplan. “For the most part that we are all looking out for ourselves. We have needs that need to be met, and if they aren’t, we’ll do what’s in our power to tilt the odds in our favor. But what happens when all of society is doing things that [primarily] benefit themselves? If everyone is looking out for ‘number one,’ then nothing will get done and nothing will change. Instead every person must compromise and make some sacrifices and adhere to decisions that aren’t necessarily in their own favor – for the greater good.”

Urinetown, The Musical, music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann. Book and lyrics by Greg Kotis. Urinetown was produced on Broadway in September, 2001 by the Araca Group and Dodger Theatricals in association with TheaterDreams, Inc., and Lauren Mitchell. Urinetown is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) and all authorized performance materials are supplied by MTI. www.MTIShows.com.

“In Urinetown, the poor people of society are stuck between a rock and a hard place,” commented ninth grader Ronan Lee. “This makes me think that given global warming, is this what we are heading towards? In this very moment we are in the prime of the scientific revolution, yet we still litter the streets with garbage, and pollute the world for the next generation who will be left trying to fix our mistakes. Will it go so far that we will end up with no clean, healthy water? Will we have to abide by the same rules as in the story?

“Sadly, the reality of Urinetown is already upon us. Around the world many people are struggling to feed their children and have enough good water to stay alive. People with better livelihoods need to help because we are all in this together, working to become a better species.”

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Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Director of Marketing & Communications, [email protected]

Nestled among the redwoods on 355 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a community of learners dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believe a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.