PITTSBURG — Before heading to Wichita for a performance at the Kansas Thespian Festival, Pittsburg High School Theatre will put on a special, free show at Memorial Auditorium.
The performance will serve as a practice run for the cast of PHS’s “Urinetown,” which was selected by judges to be performed on the main stage at the Kansas Thespian Festival Jan. 4. At the festival, the cast and crew will be required to put the set, lighting, sound and show together in just one day. Director Greg Shaw is using the community show at Memorial Auditorium as a practice run for his students.
“We’ll get to Memorial Auditorium at 7 a.m. and get to work setting up,” Shaw said. “They’ll have the day to get costumes, sets, lighting, sound, all that done before performing at 7 p.m., just like it will be at the festival.”
Shaw picked Memorial Auditorium for the rehearsal because it was a different space than the PHS auditorium. At the festival, the cast and crew will be dealing with an unfamiliar stage.
The community show will take place at 7 p.m. Jan. 2. Seating will be free and open to the public.
Following the performance, the cast and crew will carefully disassemble the set and put everything back into storage. They will leave Jan. 3 to head for Wichita.
PHS’s production of “Urinetown” was one of three shows across the state to be chose to perform on the main stage of the three-day festival. PHS will perform Jan. 4 — the opening night of the festival, which takes place at Hyatt Regency Wichita and Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center.
It will be the third time PHS has performed at the festival, which draws in a crowd of around 1,800 high school theatre students and their teachers.
The show is accompanied by a live band, comprised of students under the direction of Cooper Neil. Vocal direction was by Susan Laushman, and tech direction was by Chuck Boyles. As part of their semester-long rehearsals, the cast also completed a master class with Broadway actress Janine DiVita, who once played the lead female role Pennywise.
PHS Theatre originally performed “Urinetown” at PHS Nov. 17 through 19.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.