“Urinetown” is taking the stage on Thursday, April 2. As the production is closing the rehearsal process, it is prepared for a full house in Potter Hall.
“Urinetown” is a satirical comedy musical written by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann. It is about a city dealing with a serious drought that has affected society by causing poverty. Business tycoons have made a fortune through bribery and monopolization of restrooms. All toilets have become property of a corporation. There is also a brutal police force that maintains order among the city.
Tee Quillin is directing “Urinetown,” which was selected by the department. Quillin explains why “Urinetown” was selected.
“There was lots of discussion back and forth with it,” Quillin said. “We wanted a show that was not necessarily huge with cast, but yet not a small-scale show. We also wanted a show that was fun and quirky that’s relatively modern.”
“Urinetown” was written in 2001, making it 14 years old.
Rhonda Gierstorf, who plays Penelope Pennywise and is a music/vocal performance major, is happy to be a part of “Urinetown.”
“I was part of the cast for ‘The Drowsy Chaperone,’ before I was a student here, and had such a great experience that I wanted to be part of a Missouri Western production again,” Gierstorf said. “The cast is really coming together as a family and I’ve loved seeing how each person has developed their character over the rehearsal process.”
Thomas Delgado, who plays Old Man Strong and Hot Blades Harry, is also glad to be part of “Urinetown.”
“Being a part of ‘Urinetown’ is fun,” Delgado said. “This show has really challenged me and presented a new opportunity and that’s what I love about theater. It gives opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and do something you’re not used to doing.”
Quillin is also proud of the cast and the work they have done.
“They’re doing great,” Quillin said. “They’re working under tremendously difficult circumstances. Midway through the process, Don Lillie passed away. I only canceled one rehearsal and that was the night Don passed away. We were into the weekend anyway, which we have not rehearsed on the weekends up until this past weekend, so we were going to get some grieving time. But even on the night of his memorial and the night of his funeral, we went to do the services and came back to the theater and went back to work.”
Lillie was going to a big part of the technical design of the production and Quillin said he is missed dearly.
“His absence is felt,” Quillin said. “Especially during this time during tech, his absence is felt in a lot of ways. When it comes down to actual crunch time and we’re down to the wire, we have really felt his absence. All the tiny things he did to help bring the show together, we have tried to figure out who’s going to do it now and tried to figure it out as we go. In a lot of ways, this show has got knocked off course.”
Despite the tragic passing of Lillie, Quillin said that the cast and crew has worked twice as hard to bring a good show to Missouri Western.