Central Theatre Ensemble’s Offbeat Musical “Urinetown” Satirizes Water Woes

In scenes that could be set in a futuristic eastern Washington, Central Theatre Ensemble’s (CTE) new production, “Urinetown,” is a wickedly humorous look at what happens when vital natural resources are controlled by monopolies.

The musical is a cautionary tale that explores what our world might be like in the wake of a 20-year drought, where a megacorporation, Urine Good Company, controls the water supply and citizens must pay for the right to use the toilet. Harsh laws govern bathroom use and violators are sent to the penal colony of Urinetown, never to return.

Directed by Central Washington University Theatre Professor George Bellah 3, “Urinetown” features a cast of 23 singers and dancers and is the first CTE production to be accompanied by live music in several years.

With songs like “It’s a Privilege to Pee,” Urinetown’s potty humor deftly skewers the genre of musical comedy as well as pillorying social mores, conformity and corporate ethics. The Tony award-winning musical is a gleefully perverse satire on ecological, economic, political and social disasters.

“Urinetown” will be performed
Nov. 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. in McConnell Auditorium. Due to adult themes, the production is not appropriate for children under 13. No babes in arms.

Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 non-CWU students and seniors, and 
$5 for CWU students with ID. Tickets may be bought online at www.cwu.edu/~theatre/tix/ or purchased at the Milo Smith Tower Theatre box office, noon to 3 p.m. daily, or by phone at (509) 963-1774. Tickets may also be purchased one hour prior to each performance at the auditorium. On-campus parking for all evening and weekend events is free.

“Urinetown,” with music by Mark Hollmann, lyrics by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, and book by Greg Kotis, is presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

CWU is the only four-year public institution in Washington state to offer a bachelor of fine arts degree in theatre arts with a musical theatre emphasis. This fall the number of new students in the theatre arts department has doubled, and the number of majors has increased from 100 to 140.

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