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FHS presents Urinetown, a play to challenge students

Grant Uline leads Bobby, leader of a group of revolutionists, in the upcoming Farmington High School musical, Urinetown, on stage this weekend at Boeckman Middle School.1 / 2
Christian Broiler is Claude Well, owner of all of the toilets in Urinetown. 2 / 2

Farmington High School teacher Maria Capecchi likes to challenge her students. She’s carrying that through to her drama students, too, as they prepare for this weekend’s performance of the musical, Urinetown.

The musical features Kate Sorenson in the role of Hope, Grant Uline as Bobby, Kaylin Finstad as Little Sally, Willy Storms as Officer Lockstock, and Cristian Brollier as Caldwell B. Cladwell.

Urinetown is set in the future, in a time when there is no more water, Capecchi said. There are no private toilets, and the toilets that are available are owned by Cladwell. And he charges people to use the toilets.

But the poor of Urinetown cannot afford to use Cladwell's toilets, so they pull together to riot. As a result, they also take control of the city’s urinals.

As chance would have it, though, Cladwell's daughter, Hope, meets and falls in love with Bobby, the leader of the gang of poor who riots against Cladwell and his system.

“It’s a little bit like Romeo and Juliet, where they’re coming from different worlds,” Capecchi said. “They fall in love before they know who each other are.”

Capecchi chose the script because she saw a chance to challenge her 32 cast members. Each character is unique, so she asked her actors to really think about what life might be like if the situation were real. She encouraged them to develop their characters’ personalities through action, thought and voice.

It’s also a good musical for FHS because many of the students in the cast are strong singers and physical actors. Urinetown allows those students to excel in their roles, too.

Capecchi thinks the audience will enjoy Urinetown.

“It’s very funny, so the audience will enjoy it, but it’s also very thought-provoking,” she said. “I’m hoping it will help some people think about what’s going on in the rest of the world.”

This year’s musical is also being critiqued through the competitive musical theater company, the Hennepin Theater Trust Spotlight. Members of the Hennepin Theater Trust Spotlight watch practices and performances, and give awards based on the performances. The awards are given to actors, and those individuals are recognized at the end of the year.

The FHS production of Urinetown will be on stage at the Boeckman Middle School auditorium at 7 p.m. Nov. 14-15, and Nov. 21-22, and at 2 p.m. Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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