The cast on stage during a recent rehearsal of “Urinetown.” Submitted photo

The USM Department of Theatre and the Dr. Alfred & D. Suzi Osher School of Music present “Urinetown,” the hilarious Tony Award-winning musical about greed, bureaucracy and, well, one of our most basic needs, will be presented from March 3-12, by the USM Department of Theatre and the Dr. Alfred & D. Suzi Osher School of Music at Russell Hall on the USM Gorham Campus and live-streamed. Content warning: “Urinetown” includes depictions of violence and images that reference suicide. The show is suitable for people aged 13 and up.

Dylan Cao (as Little Sally) & Ciara Neidlinger (as Officer Lockstock) during a recent rehearsal of “Urinetown.” Submitted photo

To pee, or not to pee, that is the question. In a world where prolonged drought has ravaged the land, the basic human right of urinating has become ruthlessly policed by an evil megacorporation as a luxury item. Those who dare to buck the powers that be are sent off to a sinister, mythical place called “Urinetown” never to be seen again. This zany and timely Tony Award-Winning musical satirizes corporate greed, social responsibility, personal freedoms, and unchecked revolutionary idealism in the face of a public health crisis.

Aaron Kircheis (as Bobby Strong) & Emily Bartley (as Hope Caldwell) during a recent rehearsal of “Urinetown.” Submitted photo

Director Rachel Price Cooper says “Urinetown” explores strikingly relevant themes without being heavy-handed. “There’s so much humor, you never feel like you are being hit over the head with any particular ideology but at the same time it uses a really absurd story to explore issues that are so current it’s unbelievable – public health crises, the debate between collective responsibilities and personal freedoms, the mismanagement of natural resources, runaway capitalism, the list goes on and on.” But, she says, audiences are sure to have a great time, “The music is great, there are amazing dance numbers, and the plot moves super fast. So you can bring your friend that isn’t into live theatre and they will still have a good time. You can also bring a huge musical theatre buff and they’ll have a ball.”

Thanks to a wealth of talented students from both the USM Dept. of Theatre and the Osher School of Music, the show’s leads are double-cast and will perform on alternate nights. Two sets of leads and a commitment to non-traditional casting have opened up creative challenges Musical Director Edward Reichert has embraced. He says, “This takes more rehearsal time and attention to details, but has been a wonderful ingredient in making this show even more special. I think the rewards of thinking outside the box have been enormous for both the students and the faculty/staff on this production…audiences will be especially impressed with the caliber of USM talent being showcased in this production.”

Ticket prices range from $10-$22 with pay-what-you-can performances on 3/3, 3/9, and 3/10. Live Stream Option: The 7 p.m. shows on March 5 and 11 will be live-streamed.

For more information and to purchase tickets for in-person or streamed performances, visit or call the USM Theatre Box Office at 207-780-5151. USM Theatre is requiring masks for all audience members and vaccination, if eligible, or proof of a negative PCR test within 48 hours of the performance or a negative Rapid Test within 12 hours of the performance. Testing requirements include children under 12 who are not vaccinated.

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