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March 14, 2014
By Rachel Sielaff, media relations assistant
"Urinetown" director Amanda Petefish-Schrag and cast member Dana Masters talked about the production Wednesday, April 9, on the KFEQ Hotline with Barry Birr. Listen to an excerpt of the program by clicking here.
(Updated April 10, 2014)
The hysterical tale of a town faced with corporate greed and corruption takes the stage next month as Theatre Northwest presents its next production.
Northwest Missouri State University’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts will present “Urinetown” at 7:30 p.m. April 10-12 in the Mary Linn Auditorium at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.
Tickets may be purchased at the Student Services Center, on the first floor of the Administration Building, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. General admission tickets are $11. Tickets for Northwest employees, students and senior citizens are $9. All seating is general admission.
The musical – with music and lyrics by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann – adds an unusual twist to the story about greed, corruption, love and revolution in a time where water is valued above everything else. In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens are forced to use public restrooms, which are regulated by a malicious company that profits by charging admission for one of humankind's most basic needs. Eventually, the hero, Bobby Strong, decides he’s had enough and begins a revolution that will change the town forever.
“‘Urinetown’ is a musical satire of musical theater,” said Amanda Petefish-Schrag, associate professor of theater at Northwest, who is directing the musical. “It has all of the favorite elements of musical theater but also makes fun of them. So if you love musicals, there is something in this show for you, and if you hate musicals, there’s something in this show for you. It’s also a Tony Award-winning musical about a world where people have to pay to pee.”
The musical entertains with rousing tunes such as “What is Urinetown,” “Follow Your Heart,” “I See a River” and “Run, Freedom, Run.”
The show became a Broadway hit in 2001 and continued for 965 performances, winning three Tony Awards, including Best Original Score. The musical’s popularity has also led to a national tour and its premier in London this year.
The Northwest production will showcase the artistic abilities of about 60 students from the University’s music and theater departments. The cast of the production includes Chris Holtman (junior Spanish major from Maryville) as Bobby Strong; Natalie Burgon (senior music major from Gladstone) as Hope Cladwell; PT Mahoney (sophomore music major from Belton) as Caldwell B. Cladwell; Courtney Hockman (sophomore vocal music education major from Gladstone) as Penelope Pennywise; and Price Carter (junior vocal music education major from Kearney) as Officer Lockstock.
“‘Urinetown’ itself has been a great exercise in teamwork and collaboration,” said Dana Masters, a theater major at Northwest, who will play Josephine Strong and a chorus member in the musical. “Being a part of the theater department at Northwest has allowed me to grow so much in so many areas. With my theater education, I have learned how to research, think outside the box, test my boundaries, teach others and tackle any situation with enthusiasm.”
Theatre Northwest annually produces more than a dozen shows. Productions include a freshman mainstage show, two other mainstage shows, touring shows, and up to eight second stage and studio shows. Students have opportunities to perform, design and direct theater productions throughout their time at Northwest. The theater program also joins Northwest’s music program to produce a musical every other year.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468