TheatreMcLean sets the stage for a great year

The Theater program is putting on the show Urinetown in November

Laine Phillips, Reporter

TheatreMcLean is going to be performing the Tony-winning musical by Greg Kotis, Urinetown from Nov. 15 to 18.  

“[Urinetown] is a black comedy musical which is something we’ve not done,” theater teacher and director Phillip Reid said.

Urinetown takes place in a society where everyone has to pay to use public restrooms, and the big companies take advantage of the poor. The play is about what happens when the poor revolt and take down the big companies.

“We have always done family-friendly pieces, and this piece is not super mature, but it is a little oddball for us, which is a lot of fun,” Reid said.

The play is predicted to attract a very different audience than the previous shows TheatreMcLean has done.

“We’ve done all these kid musicals. We’ve done Cinderella and Seussical; 9 to 5 wasn’t a children’s musical, but it was a more upbeat uptempo and modern musical. Urinetown is a little weirder and stranger and kind of more in my wheelhouse in terms of what I love, so I wanted to share it with the kids,” Reid said.

To be a part of this performance students had to go through a rigorous three-day audition process.

“The first day was dance, the second day was voice and acting, and on the third day I called back the certain people I wanted to see,” Reid said.

There is a lot of talent among the 110 kids in the cast and crew.

“There are some folks who I’ve worked with for four years that are here again and some new folks like some transfer students and freshmen that are just now doing a show with McLean,” Reid said.

These students are putting in a minimum of three hours a day three days a week as well as nine hours every Saturday.

“We are putting on these high-quality shows, but we have school. Professional theaters, this is all they do every day. For us, we have to go to school first, and then after school we have [the play]. We lose like half the time,” Reid said.

TheatreMcLean has big plans for the future beyond the performance of Urinetown.

“We want to do more cross-collaboration with other schools. We also want to do more fundraisers for the International Thespian Society which is an honor society for theater, ” Reid said.

The school provides little to no funding for this club.

“Most of our money comes from our ticket sales and the help of our drama boosters,” Reid said.

In past years the boosters have done all the fundraising. This year the students are getting a lot more involved with the fundraising to be able to produce a well-done play.

“They are thinking of doing a Halloween party. We have these No Shame variety shows. We want to do more group activities, like going out to ice skating rinks or doing spring festivals, stuff like that. We really just want more, and more things for kids to do, not just parents,” Reid said.

The cast and crew are very excited to put on this show.

“[The play] is going to be a huge success and start our year off strong,” Reid said.