Sudbury Residents Star in Concord's 'Urinetown'
(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following was submitted by James Forbes Sheehan.)
The Alexander Children’s Theatre School (ACTS) presents the 2002 Tony Award-winning musical, Urinetown, running December 14-16 (four performances) at Concord’s Emerson Umbrella.
The cast includes Sudbury residents Chloe Thomas (in the leading role of Little Sally) and Jessica Bodner (as Little Becky Two Shoes).
“Urinetown is a show that we have talked about doing for years, but it was never quite the right time to do it,” said producer James Forbes Sheehan. “We are thrilled to finally be doing Urinetown, and I think audiences are in for a real treat.”
A 20-year drought has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a monopolizing company that charges admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides that he has had enough, and plans a revolution to lead the citizens to freedom!
Sharon Bisantz directs the production, which features a cast of 30 high school students from Concord, Sudbury, Natick, Weston, and other surrounding communities. A recognized director and choreographer in the Boston area, Bisantz is the director of drama at Lowell High School and a theatre educator at the Middlesex School Summer Arts (MSSA). The production team also includes music director Brent Kincaid, choreographer Jackie Theoharis (an IRNE Award nominee), and conductor Ben Oehlkers. Urinetown is produced by Stephanie C. Mavrides (the organization’s founding director) and EMACT/DASH Award winner James Forbes Sheehan.
But why would anyone want to see a show about pee? “Urinetown acknowledges and duplicates theater tradition, but pushes it forward to the absurd,” said Bisantz. “It makes us question what we expect from a musical.” Sheehan adds, “Get past the title, and it’s truly one of the best-written musicals to have played Broadway in the past fifteen years.”
Inspired by the political theatre works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, Urinetown won three 2002 Tony Awards out of ten nominations, including Best Score (Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis) and Best Book (Greg Kotis). It is a hysterical tale of greed, corruption, love, and revolution. It also plays homage to many great musicals of yesteryear, including Les Misérables, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, and West Side Story. Urinetown is produced by special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
Since 1999, ACTS has been producing several annual musicals, in addition to offering master classes and workshops with professional artists, weekly dance classes, special summer shows, and other educational opportunities. By combining the work of professional adults with that of students and volunteers, we can create an excellent learning experience for all. We believe that there is something for everyone; every child can succeed in the theater, given the proper guidance, encouragement, and direction. ACTS is a proud member of the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theatres (EMACT).
Performances are Friday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 15 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 16 at 4:00 p.m. at the Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts (40 Stow Street, Concord, MA). Tickets are available by visiting www.ACTS1.org or by calling 781-899-4467.