Actor's Express Opens 35th Anniversary Season With Acclaimed Satire Musical URINETOWN

Urientown is directed by Actor’s Express Artistic Director Freddie Ashley.

By: Dec. 14, 2022

Actor's Express Opens 35th Anniversary Season With Acclaimed Satire Musical URINETOWN

Actor's Express opens its 35th anniversary season with the critically acclaimed satire musical Urinetown, a co-production with Oglethorpe University Theatre. In the not-so-distant future, a twenty-year drought has depleted the land of water.

All citizens are forced to pay the corrupt megacorporation "Urine Good Company" for the, ahem, "privilege to pee." When the idealistic Bobby Strong decides he has had enough, he leads a ragtag group of rebels in a revolution to pee freely! Urientown is directed by Actor's Express Artistic Director Freddie Ashley.

According to Freddie Ashley, "Urinetown is one of the funniest and sharpest musicals I know. The fact that the biting satire is washed down with hummable songs and hilarious comedy just makes it work on every level. I think its themes are more relevant than ever, and it has only gotten funnier as time has gone by. And what a thrill it is to partner with our friends at Oglethorpe University again after the success of Heathers last fall."

Urinetown explores themes such as capitalism, social irresponsibility, bureaucracy, corporate greed, and municipal politics, and it also pokes some fun at musical theatre itself. Urinetown premiered on Broadway in 2001 at the Henry Miller's Theatre, where it ran for nearly three years and won three 2002 Tony Awards including Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Musical Score and Best Direction of a Musical along with numerous nominations. Variety called Urinetown "rousing and infectious," while TimeOut expressed, "Urinetown packs tremendous fun."

According to Matt Huff, Director of Theatre at Oglethorpe University, "Oglethorpe's collaboration with Actor's Express on the production of Heathers was a huge success-both artistically and educationally. The students who worked on that production got to experience theatre-making at a professional level. They were treated as peers to the professionals and because of that, they grew in their craft and, ultimately, in their confidence as artists. Likewise, the professionals were inspired by the enthusiasm and dedication of the students. The reciprocity of this dynamic makes such partnerships so exciting."

This extraordinary cast and creative team includes AE vets and Atlanta favorites like Jeff McKerley (Fun Home, Head Over Heels), Kevin Harry (Sweeney Todd, Head Over Heels and Murder Ballad), choreographer Precious West (Heathers)and Musical Director Ashley Prince (Lizzie).

Actor's Express and Oglethorpe University are thrilled to highlight 11 Oglethorpe University students and three AE Apprentice company artists in the cast. These students include Emma Jean Scott, Tatum McBride, Caroline Gammage, Wynne Kelly, Summer Stockard, Zion Glenn, Chloe Campbell, Chris Kesserwani, James Patrick, Amber Williams and Jacien Thorne. AE's class of 2022-2023 apprentices include Cameron Lane, Tatyana Mack and Ciara Pysczynski.

Freddie Ashley is Artistic Director of Actor's Express. He has directed around 45 AE productions, including Fun Home, The Crucible, Stupid f-ing Bird and Murder Ballad. Locally, his work has been seen at Dad's Garage, Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Jewish Theatre of the South, Theatre Gael and Aurora Theatre. He has been a frequent guest director at universities, including Virginia Commonwealth University, Hendrix College, University of Georgia, Austin Peay State University and Oglethorpe University.

He has developed new plays around the country with the Playwrights Center, Kennedy Center, New Group, Page 73 and the Alliance Theatre, where he served as Literary Manager. Ashley has worked on new play projects with some of the most compelling and important writers working in the American theatre today, including John Patrick Shanley, Joshua Harmon, Lindsey Ferrentino, Jen Silverman, Kenneth Lin, Janine Nabers, Marco Ramirez and Michael Lew.

He is a four-time Suzi Bass Award winner and has been named Best Director in Atlanta three times by Creative Loafing. He has received the Elliot Hayes Award for Dramaturgy from the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Medallion of Excellence.

Ashley is Part-Time Assistant Professor of Theatre at Kennesaw State University, where he has served on the faculty since 2002 and serves on the National New Play Network Board of Directors. He holds an MFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi.


Urinetown

Music and Lyrics by Mark Hollman, Book and Lyrics by Greg Kotis

Directed by Freddie Ashley

Musical Directed by Ashley Prince

Choreographed by Precious West

February 2-19, 2023 at the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University

Urinetown begins previews February 2nd and opens February 4th. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM and Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets start at $20 and may be purchased online at actors-express.com or by calling 404-607-7469.

"Pee-pare to laugh!" In the not-so-distant future, a twenty-year drought has depleted the land of water. All citizens are forced to pay the corrupt "Urine Good Company" megacorporation for the, ahem, "privilege to pee." When the idealistic Bobby Strong decides he has had enough, he leads a ragtag group of rebels in a revolution to pee freely!

A Co-Production with Oglethorpe University Theatre.

Previews: Thursday-Friday, February 2-19, 2023 at 8 PM

Opening Night: February 4th, 2023 at 8 PM

Regular Performances: February 5-19, 2023

Thursday-Saturday at 8 PM

Sunday at 2 PM

Purchase tickets online at actors-express.com or by calling 404-607-7469.

Group pricing is available. For info, email tickets@actorsexpress.com.

Regular ticket prices range from $20-$38.

Student tickets are always $20.

Discounts for seniors 65+, groups and active or retired military.

Ticket prices are subject to availability. Order early for best pricing.




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