Sustainability Takes Centerstage in Concordia’s “Urinetown” Production

For cast members in Concordia’s production of “Urinetown,” it’s impossible to not think about sustainability and water consumption issues.
“The show gives a very poignant, clear, and thought-provoking message that if we as a society don’t do something to change our over-consuming ways, this humorous, yet tragic world portrayed in ‘Urinetown’ is inevitably our not-so-distant future,” says assistant director Hannah Wehlage ’14, Lakeville, Minn.
In the musical, a 20-year drought brings the end of private restrooms and the rise of Urine Good Company. Fueled by greed, UGC forces people to pay to use toilets. Failure to pay lands full-bladdered souls into the arms of the police force and the depths of the feared Urinetown.
A dark comedy, its themes are serious.
This is one reason Concordia Theatre and the theatre honor society are raising funds for River Keepers of Fargo after each performance. River Keepers is an organization that works to preserve the local Red River.
Tonight (Nov. 21) there also will be a panel discussion led by campus sustainability leaders and director Dr. Jennifer Thomas. They will explore how the show’s themes connect to modern society. The discussion begins after the 8 p.m. performance.
“‘Urinetown’ reminds us that our actions have consequences not only on those around us but also on the world that sustains us,” Thomas says. “Perhaps we won’t be as unfortunate. Or, like the people of ‘Urinetown,’ we will end up coughing, gasping and searching for the river much too late.”

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