BY ELLA SHISHKOVA '26
ABRHS Proscenium Circus’ 2022–2023 winter musical, Urinetown, is premiering in just a few short weeks, and I’m here to give you the scoop on everything that’s happening with this spectacular show. If you’re wondering “What is Urinetown?” you’re not alone. Urinetown is a musical that first premiered on Broadway in 2001. The musical mirrors events in the real world in a light-hearted way, raising awareness on these topics. Masey Sowers, ‘26, a featured dancer in the show, says the show is “about how capitalism and corruption can bring down society by cutting off already limited resources.” In the show, during a 20-year drought, the community near Urinetown has banned the use of private toilets in an attempt to conserve water, forcing people to pay to use public lavatories. If anyone breaks the rules, they are sent to a mysterious place called Urinetown. Ms. Maguire, the music director of the show, says that the show “[highlights] that the ‘haves’ [rich people] can pay, while the ‘have nots’ [the lower class] suffer.” Like many different team sports, putting together a show consists of many parts working together.
The actors involved in the production are working hard to learn their parts in time for the show. This includes three-hour rehearsals every week Tuesday through Friday. There are multiple different types of actors. Leads, who are the main characters; featured dancers, who help convey the emotion of a song through movement; and ensemble, which consists of the smaller characters who sing and act as backups. Nora Newsham, ‘26 states that putting on a performance like this is “definitely very nerve-racking.” Eli Jarsky, ‘23 agrees, but feels that “[the] stress fades away once [he’s] onstage.”
Contrary to popular belief, theater isn’t exclusively about the actors—the workers backstage also have an important role in putting together the show. Whether it is costuming, hair and makeup, props and set, or sound and lighting, there are many parts needed to create the magic of the theater. Working backstage can teach you a multitude of life skills from organization to thinking outside of the box. One of the head costume designers for Urinetown, Lena Lapson, ‘24, says that finding costumes is “hard because [they] only have so much stuff and [they] have to figure out how to make it work.” It gets even more difficult when they need to blend the costumes with the lighting and the director’s vision. Luckily, our Proscenium Circus has an abundance of talented people who are willing to devote their time and effort to backstage production. Many of the crew members choose to participate in the behind-the-scenes effort of productions for many different reasons, such as stage fright, or in Pothos Rabin-Marquez’s, ‘25, case, simply preferring to use their “ideas on what [they] can do backstage.”
Being a part of any group activity will inevitably bring you closer to those around you. Ms. Maguire explains that “clubs, sports, and activities [like PC] are such an important part of high school since they help you build community in a school as large as ABRHS.” It’s the only time in your life that you are putting on this specific show with this group of people around you. Other than the time spent together, students’ common interests in performing for others make it easier for them to connect and make friends. Many of the members of Proscenium Circus have made some of their closest friends over common experiences in a show: Pothos says that “PC is like [her] found family because [she meets] all of these cool people and [makes] friends, which is the best part.”
Finally, the most important people in putting on the show are you, our classmates and friends! Without an audience, there wouldn’t be anyone to make this show for. Urinetown is a funny, fast-paced, unpredictable show that many people can enjoy. Jarsky states proudly that the show has “a lot of fun moments that absolutely surpass the audience's expectations.” Everyone is invited to come to see our school's very own production of Urinetown between December 9th and 17th. The community of actors and crew hopes to see you in the audience!