“Urinetown” is a play set in a future world where intense drought has led humans to share a communal toilet, with laws prohibiting individuals from owning private toilets. In response, a wealthy character, Mr. Cladwell, decides to use the situation to turn a profit. Cladwell forces people to spend hundreds of dollars to simply use the bathroom. Eventually, resistance takes shape in the show’s protagonist, a worker named Bobby Strong. Enraged by the exploitative and wealthy citizens, Strong begins to fight the injustice demanding change. To add an extra layer of theatrical drama, Strong is also in love with Cladwell’s daughter. At its core, Urinetown is a story of love, rebellion, and important political commentary.
“Part of what we do in the theater is we do impossible things and that’s the joy of it. There’s this monumental task and we all work together to make it happen in this kind of magical way,” said Caitlyn Louchard, the director of the upcoming BHS “Urinetown” production. The idea of doing Urinetown was first created by stagecraft a couple years ago and was handed over to Louchard to direct. Louchard has been involved in the world of theater for many years now. “I was an actor in the Bay Area and I ran a small Shakespeare company,” she said, “And I was on staff at Shotgun Players for a while.” Today, Louchard is focusing more of her time towards writing and teaching. “I love how much (these students) love each other. They take such good care of each other, and their commitment and joy is really inspiring.”
Margeaux Holland is a tenth grader and cast member for the BHS production. “‘Urinetown’ is a really fun musical because it parodies a bunch of other musicals,” she said. “It parodies musicals like West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof, o for the musical nerds, they’ll definitely love it.” Holland plays Old Ma Strong, Bobby Strong’s mom.
The cast of Urinetown has been rehearsing ever since auditions in September. On days they have rehearsal, it lasts about three hours, meaning they’re working seven hours a week. As the date of opening night draws closer, the cast focuses on specifics and technical bits. BHS freshman and cast member Amani Meleis is excited to see his hard work come to life on stage. “It’s not just normal suits and whatever,” he said. “It’s super colorful costumes and lights.” When asked about why people should attend, Meleis said “I think this isn’t like an old musical; it’s more modern, so more suited to modern audiences.”
“Urinetown” opens on February 23rd and closes on March 2nd. This production is the first musical at BHS since the pandemic, and cast members are excited for the opening and proudly encourage people to attend. “I think it will be really refreshing for people to see a musical here,” said Holland.