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Episode 8
The Making of Urinetown with Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis

 

How did Urinetown go from a show with a provocative title to a Broadway hit?

While Hollmann and Kotis had a fruitful collaboration working with a unique idea, they faced numerous rejection letters and hesitation about their material. So the writing team did what anyone who believes in their work would, they produced it themselves, a risk that paid off in a big way. Hollmann and Kotis are joined by fellow DG member and the original ‘Bobby Strong,’ Hunter Foster, in a conversation about Urinetown’s journey from the Fringe Festival to the Broadway stage.

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MARK HOLLMANN

Composer, Lyricist

Mark Hollmann received a Tony Award, the National Broadway Theatre Award and an Obie Award for his score to Urinetown. Hollmann is a former ensemble member of the Cardiff-Giant Theatre Co. in Chicago. He played trombone for the Chicago art-rock band Maestro Subgum and the Whole, and also played piano for the Second City national touring company and Chicago City Limits. Hollmann currently serves on the Council of The Dramatists Guild of America.

Works include: Urinetown (music & lyrics) (2001); The Girl, the Grouch, and the Goat: A Modern Fable (music & lyrics) (2008); Alchemist the Musical (Seattle Fringe Festival); Jack the Chipper (Greenview Arts Center, Chicago); Kabooooom! (University Theater, U. of Chicago); I Think I Can and Deal with It! (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Fare for All (Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Gardens, NYC); Yeast Nation (music & lyrics) (2011).

GREG KOTIS

Playwright, Lyricist

Greg Kotis received two Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards for his work on Urinetown. His work has been produced and developed in theaters across the country and around the world, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Conservatory Theater, American Theater Company, Henry Miller's Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Stage and Film, Perseverance Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, Soho Rep, South Coast Rep, and The Old Globe, among others. Mr. Kotis is a member of the Neo-Futurists, the Cardiff Giant Theater Company, ASCAP, and the Dramatists Guild.

Works include: Jobey and Katherine (1997); Urinetown (book & lyrics) (2001); Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind (2005); Pig Farm (2006); The Truth About Santa (2008); Brink! (2009); The Unhappiness Plays (2011); Yeast Nation (book & lyrics) (2011); Michael von Siebenburg Melts Through the Floorboards (2012).

HUNTER FOSTER

Actor/Singer, Librettist, Playwright

Hunter Foster originated the role of "Bobby Strong" in Urinetown, for which he received nominations for an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Lucille Lortel Award. Foster also wrote the libretto for the 2002 off-Broadway musical based on the motion picture Summer of '42. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Works include: Summer of '42 (music & lyrics) (2002); Crossing (book) (2008); Senior Moments (book) (2008); Sleepy Hollow (book) (2008); Clyde 'N Bonnie: A Folktale (2011).

 

 

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