On the heels of last year’s award-winning performance of “Cabaret, the Performing Arts Department at Manlius Pebble Hill School is gearing up for what they anticipate to be another memorable performance. While the name itself, “Urinetown,” may sound a bit off-putting to some, this Tony-winning musical tackles a serious subject matter with great humor and lively musical numbers.
Tickets for “Urinetown” are available at mph.ticketleap.com, and the show will be held at the Coville Theater on the Manlius Pebble Hill campus March 4, 5, 6, 11 and 12.
The show is set in a Gotham-like city facing a water shortage after a twenty-year drought. In response, the government has enforced a ban on private toilets, forcing citizens to use only public amenities. These public facilities are regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of our most basic needs — using a restroom! A hero emerges and plans a revolution to lead the citizens to freedom.
MPH is well known for thinking outside the box in its upper school productions. In addition to last year’s “Cabaret,” they’ve tackled shows such as “Hair,” “Rent,” “Chicago” and the vocally- demanding “Three Penny Opera.”
According to MPH Performing Arts Chair Michele Koziara, “I use every production as a learning experience. We don’t choose shows just to be controversial.” She goes on to say, “Here at MPH, we have fantastic support for artistic freedom.”
Head of School Jim Dunaway adds, “A great performing arts program should be performing quality music, dance and theatre; that is always our goal. Because of the title of this musical, I decided to read the script myself and to consult with a friend in theatre outside the School about the quality of “Urinetown.” After that, it was an easy decision to approve this performance. I know our students will give a professional-quality performance and have a meaningful learning experience.”
“Urinetown” will be just one of many other Central New York area high school productions up for awards at the second annual Syracuse High School Theatre Awards on Saturday, June 4. Last year, MPH received Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Outstanding Achievement in Choreography and Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical.