Edgemont Theater’s Urinetown
Edgemont Theater has been preparing for their next production for about a month now and the performance will be in March. The production in question is Urinetown the Musical, and its plot is just as intriguing as its title. The cast and their directors have been working hard to bring the show to life despite the difficult circumstances COVID has presented them with. Rehearsals are fully online, and cast members are deprived of connecting with each other on stage like they are used to. So much of the magic of theater is the result of that on-stage togetherness, so how much of this magic can be preserved with rehearsals and the final performance being on Zoom? Well, the cast of Urinetown is finding out. Edgemont Theater has a history of putting on wonderful musicals for the community each spring, so it will be exciting to see what they are able to put together this year. The cast is committed to transferring the Edgemont Theater magic from the auditorium to Zoom for the community to enjoy remotely.
Given the show’s ridiculous title, you’re probably wondering what it’s about. Urinetown is a satirical comedy that takes place in a dystopian world where all citizens who are not high class have to pay to pee. It mainly satirizes the legal system, capitalism, and corporate mismanagement. While the show challenges modern political issues through comedy and overall absurdity, it also includes heartwarming storylines of romance and family relationships.
The music in the show is both beautiful and powerful, a perfect accompaniment to the show’s dramatic romances and political aspects. So how is the cast piecing together this lively and fun musical from their computers? They started out with music rehearsals at the beginning of the process where they learned challenging harmonies over Zoom without even being able to hear each other. They will soon go on to record their parts on each song of the show through a school-provided professional microphone. All of those vocals will be edited together to create group songs, and characters with solo songs will record those through the professional microphones to be edited as well. As if the music wasn't hard enough, the cast is also doing full choreography for group songs and performing it over Zoom to be recorded for the final product. Scenes with a few actors or even full cast scenes will also be recorded on zoom and edited in with the rest of the show as well. Another fun part of the process is that each cast member was given a ring light, a costume, and green screen background by the school. Cast members will use these resources as the set-up for their individual filming so that the show feels more professional and closer to what it would have been, had it been a normal year.
“At the beginning of each rehearsal the directors put on a fun song and we all have a dance party to get our energy up,” she said. “They are trying really hard to make it an experience where we can stay connected even though we all have to stay in our own homes.” There’s no better way to get motivated and feel connected than a cast dance party! Abigail continued, “I think that everyone has realized the circumstances and we’re all just trying to make the most out of the experience.”
The cast of Urinetown has spent almost every day of the past month or so on Zoom from 6-9 rehearsing for the show. That many hours of online rehearsal takes a lot of dedication, which proves just how hard each and every cast member is working to make this production the best it can be. I asked cast member Abigail Duke who will be playing Little Sally in the production how the cast is staying motivated during long online rehearsals. “At the beginning of each rehearsal the directors put on a fun song and we all have a dance party to get our energy up,” she said. “They are trying really hard to make it an experience where we can stay connected even though we all have to stay in our own homes.” There’s no better way to get motivated and feel connected than a cast dance party! Abigail continued, “I think that everyone has realized the circumstances and we’re all just trying to make the most out of the experience.” COVID has made live theater practically impossible, but the cast of Urinetown is committed to performing together no matter what it takes. They have dedicated a ton of time to this show because of how much they want to share the story of Urinetown with the Edgemont community. The show will be in early March, so purchase your tickets on the EHS website! Don’t miss out on a chance to see the product of all the hard work the Urinetown cast has been doing!