Behind the Scenes of the Spring Musical, Urinetown

The Dublin High School Drama Department has been hard at work these past several weeks preparing for the opening night of the spring musical, Urinetown. Urinetown, an award-winning satire, follows the story of a dystopian world where a terrible water shortage has led to a government ban on private toilets and the monopolization of the toilet industry under a single company. Though the title may not suggest it, the show takes on powerful themes including corruption in modern capitalism and the importance of advocacy.

The cast and crew have been working incredibly hard under the dedicated guidance of Mrs. DeLapp over the past several weeks to produce the musical. While the cast has had the chance to show off all their hard work on stage over the past two weekends, the Dublin Shield wanted to take the opportunity to highlight all the hard work happening behind the scenes.

Volunteers and Mrs.DeLapp constructing one of the detailed sets for the musical.

In anticipation of the show, volunteers from the Drama Department have been hard at work building the complicated sets for the dystopian setting of Urinetown. The little details that bring the show together, including the enormous brick walls and accents on Caldwell’s desk, can be attributed to this group. Akhila Bordag, a volunteer, and member of the backstage crew mentioned that the long hours are redeemed by “the community within the Drama Department. They’re very supportive and always fun to work with.”

The stage manager for Urinetown, Prava Punnamraju, reaffirmed Bordag’s sentiment, explaining that she “loves being backstage, because [she] gets to bond with [her] other crew members.” After having been a member of the Drama Department for three years, Punnamraju revealed that she’s “still best friends with” the people she’s worked with in the past.

The stage from the perspective of a crew member.

During the shows, the backstage crew also works with Mrs. DeLapp to make sure everything flows smoothly. They prepare for call cues of lights and music, change backgrounds in between scenes, and make sure the nuts and bolts of the show function smoothly.

The cast rehearsing during Tech Week, when the stage crew perfected the transitions and music and lighting changes.

Katherine Stafford, an assistant stage manager, brought up the multitude of responsibilities the backstage crew takes on. Though Stafford’s “general responsibilities are to make sure everything works smoothly on stage left and all the things that go with it,” she’s “in charge of fixing any emergencies on stage as well.” Stafford is constantly scrambling around with her team to make sure every scene is as good as it can be. It was clear from hearing about her responsibilities that the importance of the backstage crew cannot be understated.

As someone who has been both an actor and worked behind the scenes, Punnamraju explained that though everyone works together to make the show the best it can be, she believes that “each show is 30% cast and 70% tech. It takes weeks of effort to make a show look as spectacular as the audience sees it as, and it is quite under-appreciated.”

Stafford agreed, stating that “there are so many people working on specific things that you never notice; there is a whole village of people backstage and in the sound booth that the audience never sees.”

The cast rehearsing from the perspective of an audience member.

Putting on a musical as impressive and intricate as Urinetown requires a lot of work from a multitude of individuals. It’s easy to see why Urinetown was such a spectacular musical from all the hard work the cast and crew have been putting in. If you had the chance to enjoy the show or when you attend any future shows, make sure to pay attention to the crew working hard behind the curtain to make the experience as amazing as it is.