Hilltop Players prepare for “Urinetown” opening night

From April 6-10, the Hilltop Players will present a production of the hit musical “Urinetown”. The performances will take place in West Liberty University’s (WLU) Kelly Theatre located in the Fine Arts Building. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $5 for WLU students. Tickets can also be purchased online for a discounted rate.

“Urinetown,” a triple Tony Award winning musical written by Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis is set in a parallel 1900’s town where water usage has been severely limited by the government due to a terrible drought – people are even required to pay a tax to use the toilet. The story follows an attempt at revolution by the town’s poorest citizens who are most harmed by the water restrictions. The plotline is lighthearted and goofy, with several laugh-out-loud moments and satirical commentary on the failings of the legal system and politics.

This will be the Hilltop Players first major musical production since the beginning of the pandemic and has the largest cast and crew in over two years. Senior theatre major, Odessa Hores, playing Hope Cladwell said, “This is the first musical we’ve had since “Nine to Five ” which was my freshman year. It’s been awhile because of COVID and with a musical there’s dancing and different physical aspects that you couldn’t really do with masks.”

Delaney Bird, a senior double-majoring in theatre and speech pathology, who plays Officer Lockstock said, “I think this is a nice show to bring back after COVID. It’s been a nice community experience and I think we’re all just excited to be back to normal theatre life.”

The large cast and crew combined with the satirical nature of “Urinetown” has fostered a positive atmosphere during rehearsals which has added to the results on stage. “It’s really amazing to see everybody’s individual characters,” said Hores. “Because it’s all a joke, because it’s all a parody, we just get to have fun and make it our own.”

The Hilltop Player’s production of “Urinetown” is being directed by Michael Aulick, professor of theatre at WLU, and co-directed by Dr. Melinda Kreisberg, professor of biology at WLU. The two are joined by musical directors Douglas McCall and Linda Cowan, Jill Warren as choreographer and Meta Lasch as technical director.

Aulick has directed a multitude of successful shows at WLU and is a favorite among cast members. “I love Aulick,” said Bird. “I have worked with a handful of directors, and nobody forces me to work like he does… I love his directing style, I love his teaching style, He really allows for not only creative influence, but he also really pushes you to do your best and to find that artsiness inside of you.”

“Urinetown” is a fun filled show landing on our campus at just the right time in the semester. “I think we need a little bit more enjoyment in our lives right now even still coming out of COVID and everything. It’s really funny and I think it’s a really fun show to come see,” said Hores.

For more information about the Hilltop Player’s production of “Urinetown,” contact Aulick at [email protected]. The curtain opens at 7:30 p.m. from April 6-9 with the final performance taking place on April 10 at 3:00 p.m.