Friday, March 28, 2014

URINETOWN: Florida Teens on "Mission to Pee"

(Stage photos: Blane Schwindt)
(April 10 - 13)
Rockledge High School
Rockledge, FL

Brimming with
enthusiasm, Florida
high school actors
Mikayla Goetz and
John Dudley are
driven — by their
"mission to pee."

While Mikayla Goetz and John Dudley admit openly to its controversial title, the two veteran actors also are quick to point out that their upcoming production of Urinetown is a laugh-out-loud, "modern-day Romeo and Juliet" love story.

"I feel like my heart is in this show," confessed Goetz during our recent Starbucks get together. A seasoned pro with numerous Space Coast stage credits, including last year's lead role in The Sound of Music, the Rockledge High School senior will be heading off to attend college in South Carolina this fall, pursuing a major in Fine Arts with a minor in Vocal Performance.

Dudley and  Goetz: Driven by their "mission."
"The plot is a spoof," Dudley commented. Already focusing on his own college options, the Rockledge High junior also has established an impressive résumé, including his 2013 co-starring role in Hairspray. "Urinetown breaks every Rogers and Hammerstein rule put in place," Dudley added. "It's comedic where it shouldn't be. It's over the top."

I was impressed by Goetz and Dudley's level of passion and dedication, as the teens described in heartfelt detail their labor of love — staging a full-scale musical in a day when the arts clearly have become the bottom-feeder on our public school food chain. From set designs to costuming to the required licensing, the show is being produced  on less than a shoestring budget. "Everything you see in the show was created by a student," says Dudley. "It's the little engine that could."

Under the adult supervision of Drama Director, Kelly Rose and Music Director, Daniel Klintworth, Urinetown rehearsals began back in January. "She lets the students take charge," Goetz bragged of Rose. As for Klintworth, Goetz declared, "He's an angel sent from heaven."

Aside from the compelling storyline and comedic factor, Goetz and Dudley claim that the true  Urinetown payoff is in the music. "The music is remarkable and intricate," the tech-savvy twins beamed in unison as they shared rehearsal clips with me via their iPhones. Holy cow, a Broadway Channel app. Who knew?

Goetz (C) as Hope Caldwell w/
Dudley (R) as Bobby Strong.
Behind the rather off-putting title, Unrinetown is an endearing story about love, greed and revolution that pays witty homage to American musical comedy. The show is set during a 20-year water shortage that has turned a once thriving city into a dangerously devastated one — where private toilets have become unthinkable. A single monopolizing corporation controls the town's public amenities and continues to raise the taxes on the citizens' "private business." Out of the devastation, a young woman hero rises up to lead the downtrodden citizens in a revolt against the tyrannical regime.

April 10th - 7PM
April 11th - 7PM
April 12th - 2PM and 7PM
April 13th - 2PM

$6.00 for students and seniors.
$8.00 for adults

Kelly Rose @ (321) 636-3711 / ext. 179
Rockledge High School - 220 Raider Road / Rockledge, FL
*Also find Urinetown on Facebook

-Christopher Long
(March 2014)

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