The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

‘Urinetown’ makes its debut at DVC Friday

It’s crunch time for the DVC Theatre department as they put the final touches on their newest production, “Urinetown” which opens tomorrow in the Performing Arts Center with a special cake-cutting event following the performance.

Originally an Off Broadway musical composed by Mark Hollmann and written by Greg Kotis,  “Urinetown” tells the story of a town where a 20-year drought has caused a ban on the use of private toilets.

Although he didn’t want to give any of the plot away, director Ryan Weible said, “It makes an interesting political statement with a wink and a nod.”

And while it may contain some heavy-handed commentary on things like capitalistic greed, mega corporations and bureaucracy, it is a satirical piece which also brings laughter. 

“It really just pokes fun at all sorts of people,” said Holly Kenney, a drama major who plays the role of Hope Caldwell. “It has a lot of slapstick and is really over the top.”

Weible is a former student and did six years of work on Broadway before returning to DVC.

“Theater in New York is a business,” he said.  “The whole point is financial gain.” In contrast, working in DVC drama feels like “a family.” 

 “It’s a place where you can be who you are without judgment,” Weible said.

“People are happy to be doing what they’re doing,” Kenney agreed, adding, “You have to have so much trust to make sure things go well.”

One aspect of Weible’s interpretation of “Urinetown” that sets it apart from other productions is the stage setup.  Almost all aspects of the production are visible to the audience, including the stagehands and actors when they are offstage.

“We’re on stage all the time, and it can be hard,” said Nicholas Tarabini, a musical theater and landscape architecture major, who plays Officer Barrel. 

 Melody Perera add, “When we’re on stage it’s like we have to have one foot in the real world and one step in the fiction.”

Weible said he took his inspiration from German poet, and theatre director Bartolt Brecht.

“He never wants the audience to be tricked or fooled,” Weible said. “With ‘Urinetown’ I wanted to go as far as I possibly could with Brecht’s voice.”

Like Brecht, Weible wants to use theater to promote social change.  Many of the actors are also students in his class, “Theater for Social Change.”

“Urinetown” runs through Nov. 18 with no shows on Oct. 18 and 21. Shows are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. 

Tickets are $17 for the general public, $16 for seniors, $14 for students with a valid student ID card and $12 if you have a current ASDVC sticker on your ID card.

They can be purchased at the box office which is open from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before each show. You can also buy tickets by calling (925)-687-4445.

As a special event for people who come to opening night, there will be an Opening Night Cake Cutting event after the show. All people in attendance will be able to meet and greet the actors and directors immediately following the end of the performance.


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About the Contributor
Troy Patton
Troy Patton, Arts & Features Editor
Arts and features editor, spring 2013.

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‘Urinetown’ makes its debut at DVC Friday