The Canadian College of Performing Arts finale features two distinct casts this year – an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To comply with health and safety protocols, the Oak Bay-based school’s livestreamed year-end musical features two distinct 23-person casts rather than the traditional full student body show.
The Tony Award-winning musical satire Urinetown, set in a dystopian future, has earned universal praise for how it satirizes corporate mismanagement, capitalism and politics through the story of a greedy corporation that privatizes toilets, forcing citizens to pay to pee.
A revolution flows as people vow to regain their personal freedom.
“While its political timeliness will resonate, it’s also hysterical,” said Caleb Marshall, the college’s managing artistic director and one of Urinetown’s three directors. His collaborators include lead choreographer Naomi Costain and music director Michael Doherty.
The subject matter, music and creative potential were key to selecting this musical, but also it afforded adaptability during the pandemic, Marshall said.
“Because it’s set in a dystopian future, our COVID protection measures – masks, social distancing and so on – could be easily integrated. It really worked well with the play,” he said.
Costain was happy being able to return to her hometown to work on such a fun show.
“Dividing, and keeping the casts smaller, has meant more opportunity for the students to explore roles, and are they ever,” the Toronto-based guest director said. “The world of Urinetown reflects the challenges we face right now, but it’s also filled with levity, silliness and humour.”
It also features professional musicians, providing work during a year when it has been scarce.
Performances are broadcast live from the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Oak Bay.
The red cast performed last weekend. The green cast performs June 3 at 7:30 p.m., June 4 at 6 p.m. and June 5 at 12:30 and 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available online at ccpacanada.com, by phone at 250-595-9970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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