Urinetown meets Skyline




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Skyline students acted out several scenes of the play Urinetown, by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann, as part of Katherine Harer’s Contemporary Literature class.

“It is a famous Broadway play,” said Literature teacher, Katharine Harer. “I thought students would find it different and it would capture their imagination.”

The play involves a town, known as Urinetown, that is ruled by this tyrant, Caldwell B. Cladwell, and he makes it so that everyone has to pay to pee in “public amenities” – and going at home, in the bushes, or anywhere else is illegal. The people, however, grow tired of this and decide to mount a rebellion, led by Bobby Strong. In the end, Cladwell is dragged off by several police officers and the people of Urinetown are free to pee, “wherever they want, with whomever they want, and in whatever position they want”.

However, everything isn’t quite so happy in the end, as the water for the town quickly becomes depleted, and it is revealed that the reason for Cladwell’s strict monitoring of people peeing, while evil, was to conserve a water supply that was running out.

The students really enjoyed putting on the production.

“The entire experience was interesting and colorful,” said Steve Perotti, a class student.

Perotti especially liked being able to change the script, both by adding or subtracting dialogue.

Bri Yee, a liberal arts major, also said that the play was fun. She loved the collaborative process. Yee, and several others, wished that the class had more time to work on the production and rehearse, however. They were only given two weeks, and there were other projects due during that period as well.

Despite the lack of time and preparation, the play turned out really well. The actors and actresses had the cadence of the dialogue down great, and the body language and gestures were incorporated nicely.

“It was a good turnout”, said Harer. “We were doing the play mainly for the experience and the fun.”

While the play appeared to be light-hearted and comical, you could tell that the students really wanted to do the best they could and that they put a lot of hard work into it.

“At first, we spent time figuring out the message of the play, it took us about a month to read and actually understand it,” said Harer.

Alesandro Fillari, also an English and creative writing major, described the play of Urinetown as “pretty fun and a good chance to open up”.

Although the play was a lot of fun, students got to learn what it takes to produce a play. According to Harer, performing the play is just an additional and more fun way to learn the material.

“Students do learn literally analysis,” said Harer. “Is academics along with the fun.”

This class not only helped students learn and understand Literature better, but it also helped them enhance their personal talents. Yee has previously performed at school plays and was happy to be part of this one.

“This makes me want to get back into acting,” said Yee. “Sometimes you forget what you miss.”