Scroll down for photographs of the production.
Marymount’s annual school musical happened to be Urinetown, and like most of the cast, I was skeptical at first.
Urinetown doesn’t have the best of names, and as quoted by Little Sally, one of the characters in the musical “A bad title…that could kill a show pretty good!”. However, once getting to know the play, I realised that it offered more than just an entertaining evening out.
Like most shows these days, Urinetown had a hidden meaning behind all the dancing and singing. Urinetown is set in the future and raises awareness about global warming. It is not known exactly how far into the future it is set, but the vital signs of decay and the worrying dangers of life expressed in the show provide an insight into how our very own Earth could end up, if we don’t act now.
Global warming has been more prominently in the news, ever since 16-year-old Greta Thunberg started an international youth movement against climate change. Keeping this in mind, Ms Szymczak wanted to incorporate this concept into our play, and sorry to spoil it, but that’s exactly what she did in the last song and dance number, I see a River. In our very first rehearsal, Ms Szymczak spoke to us about the grave dangers our world faces on a day to day basis, and explained that we, as the new generation, are the ones that could change how we live our daily lives.
Change isn’t easy for those who have a solid routine, and since we as students are still experiencing life, we have the means to change the smaller things. Even if everyone recycled one plastic bottle a day, or even turned the lights off each time they left the room, our world would have the smallest chance of surviving. According to the United Nations, there are only eleven years left to prevent irreversible damage from climate change. That’s crazy! Therefore, it is extremely important that we advocate and protest for a better future, one that our kids will eventually grow up in.
However, rehearsals were not just focused on protecting our planet. Each day, the cast gathered in the auditorium from 4-6 pm to practice the songs, the dances and the acting. Encouraged by Ms Szymczak’s endless supply of biscuits, the cast worked impossibly hard to give the audience the best experience possible. In the final weeks leading up to the performances, the orchestra came in to rehearse with us, and without a doubt it made the experience ten times better. Without them, the show wouldn’t have been possible.
Moreover, Ms Stockall, Ms Denton, Ms Ella and Ms Szymczak sacrificed a lot of their personal time to help us achieve the final result, and without them we would still be stuck on the first number! I would personally like to thank Ms Stockall for enduring our ear-splitting singing lessons, Ms Denton and Ms Ella for enduring our cries of agony when doing the splits, and Ms Szymczak for coping with all our highs and lows.
On a more personal level, Urinetown has really helped me become a more confident actress. Since playing Officer Barrel, I have had to memorise a lot of lines, and sing two duets. Singing isn’t a strong point for me as I do not feel as comfortable doing it. However, I pushed myself, as I thought it was a good personal challenge and, reflecting upon it, I do not regret it one bit.
Participating in the annual Marymount musical/play does not only widen your perspective on current news topics, but also pushes you to be the best that you can be. It is a great way to make new friends, not only from your Grade, but from others as well, and every year, there is one theme that everyone shares. That theme is the boundless love for acting, singing, dancing, and musical theatre in general.
Isabella, Grade 9