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Urinetown…The Analysis

Michael-Scott Greco, Staff Writer

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By Michael-Scott Greco ’18

urinetown

Before getting into my analysis, let’s establish this: oh my.  When I first heard the title of the Dramatics production, that was the first thought… Which, weeks later, hasn’t gone away.

Overall, I liked the show, but a few parts stood out to me.  The physical coordination of the ensemble in their moves, especially in the opening scene was impressive and set the start for a well-developed musical, regardless of its title.  The character “Timmy” was by far my favorite, as his sole job was to contradict what our dear narrator, Matt Perez ’17, was saying.  Reminding me much of myself, in his character, Tim Mayrose ’19 successfully abolished the stereotyped “child’s naïvety” that we see with much dystopian literature, especially when it involves oppressed children.

The UGC was, believe it or not, symbolic of every existing American corporation to date.  After seeing the whole two-hour show, the UGC was incorrect in two ways: human rights and government corruption.  With their relationship with our dearly corrupted Senator, Chris Coccodrilli ’17, the corporation lobbied and succeeded in garnering more profit.  This is why capitalism doesn’t work.  Back to my point, however, in preventing people from urination without a hefty tax in this impoverished dystopia, basic human rights, as we know them today, were violated.  As a Model UNer, I’m fluent in the rights promised in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.  Article V reads, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”  Clearly, the profound tariff was degrading to the people (all of whom would eventually die from kidney failure, but let’s avoid anatomical side effects for now).  The corporations profited from the people’s burden, entrenching them in a lower quality of life.  Maybe the students at every liberal arts college in 2016 do have a point.

In spite of this, the UGC did good business — not necessarily ethical business, but profitable business nonetheless.  Via their “legislative cooperation” with the Senate, the UGC was able to establish a monopoly on water usage.  Considered a basic amenity, the UGC enforced its tariffs to the fullest to ensure its greatest fiscal gain.

So what does all of this tell us about the state of our natural resources?  If you haven’t noticed by now, California’s enduring a drought.  With the lack of access to water in Urinetown, we acknowledge a disturbing parallel to real-world, American travesty.  We don’t expect things like this to happen in a developed nation like America, however, the buildup of climate change since the wartime industrial boom of the 1940s has led to environmental disaster.  The California state government has attempted to solve the crisis by pumping water to affected areas, however, most available water still goes to Big Agro: the CORPORATE farms which heavily contribute to the California state elections.  We see corporate manipulation in California, which is using its profit to fiscally gain even more when common people don’t even have access to water, let alone drinkable water.  Without wider access to water in California, corporate farms will continue to use the influence to profit more, like the UGC.  Without ethical and environmental change and with Trump as President, we shall certainly see development of “Urinetowns” in America (a.k.a. the American Gulags).

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Urinetown…The Analysis