Pandemic life may have shut down live theater, but DC’s Landless Theatre Company has always had a knack for making lemonade out of lemons. They found their own digital theater solution hiding in the closet: They are doing Urinetown: The Musical with sock puppets.
“We weren’t feeling enthusiastic about ‘virtual theater’ with all of the Zoom fatigue and technical issues,” said Producing Artistic Director Andrew Lloyd Baughman. “Watching people on screen can be tiresome, but watching puppets seemed like a lot of fun, and solved a multitude of other virtual theater challenges.”
Winner of three Tony Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards and two Obie Awards, Urinetown is a musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics and musical theater itself. Hilarious and touchingly honest, Urinetown provides a fresh perspective on one of America’s greatest art forms.
One primary challenge Landless faced was how to safely gather musical actors for rehearsal and performance during the pandemic. The unique process allowed an international cast of voice actors to rehearse and record dialogue together in Zoom meetings, while asynchronously recording solo and choral vocals using the free Bandlab cloud platform.
Baughman (the voice of Sockwell, the puppet who plays Oﬃcer Lockstock) would mix audio and shoot puppet footage in his home studio in Frederick, Maryland, with puppets designed by and shipped directly from Laura Briggs of Sockrider Puppets.
“Our concept was of course inspired by The Muppets, who enact classics like A Christmas Carol and Treasure Island, with the thought that our puppet troupe members will return to perform other Broadway musicals,” said Baughman. “Also, the hilarious ’90s sock puppet Sifl and Olly Show, which I dare say had even lower production values than we are working with, here.”
Baughman says Urinetown, while an ambitious first project for a puppet musical, was a show that was “screaming to be performed by puppets.”
The Landless Theatre Company, founded in 2003, is dedicated to cultivating new and diverse audiences for theater. They are known nationally in recent years for originating heavy metal adaptations of Sweeney Todd (Prog Metal Version) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Symphonic Metal Version).
The voice cast of Urinetown includes Mikey Bevarelli, Stefanie Garcia, Sidney Davis, Karissa Swanigan, Andrew Lloyd Baughman, Felicia Lobo, Rachel Lockett, Julieta Gozalo, Honey Adraque, Ally Jenkins, and Matt Baughman (see headshots in trailer and bios below). Produced and Directed by Andrew Lloyd Baughman. Puppet Design by Laura Briggs, Sockrider Puppets.
Landless Theatre’s Puppet Theatre for Shut-Ins production of Urinetown: The Musical is available to stream On Demand starting April 10, 2021, at landlesstheatre.com. Tickets are $5 per device. Donations also accepted: all $50+ donations will receive a personalized “cameo style” video message from a puppet cast member; all $100+ donations will be sent a duplicate sock puppet of one of our Puppet Theatre for Shut-Ins troupe members. Visit www.landlesstheatre.com for details on the Landless Theatre Company’s season.
About Landless Theatre Company
The Landless Theatre Company is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating new and diverse audiences for theater. More information online at landlesstheatrecompany.org
URINETOWN VOICE ACTOR BIOS
Honey Grace Adraque (Franchesca as Mrs. Millenium; Ewan Cole Lang as Tiny Tom) is from Iligan City, Philippines and is delighted to be a part of the Landless Theatre Company’s Urinetown With Puppets. She graduated with a Bachelor degree in Information Technology Major in Multimedia Systems at MSU-IIT and an Advance Certificate in Music Major in Voice and Minor in Piano at Silliman University. She is an actress, singer, and dancer. She will appear in Annie the Musical with the Vaudeville Theatre Company. Honey is always grateful for each and every opportunity she gets to perform and has a huge respect and passion for acting, singing, and dancing.
Andrew Lloyd Baughman (Producer/Director; Sockwell as Officer Lockstock; Gordo as Robby the Stockfish; Curley Piekington as Billy Boy Bill) is the Producing Artistic Director of The Landless Theatre Company and an Associate Artist of Maryland Ensemble Theatre. He is an actor, director, playwright, composer, and sound designer. As a theatre educator of 20 years, Baughman has written multiple books, and is the Founding Director of Virtual Academy dot Art/Imaginative Innovations. Regional acting credits: Sweeney Todd/Sweeney Todd [Prog Metal Version]; Burrs/The Wild Party; Jerry/Betrayal; Orin et al/Little Shop of Horrors; Fred and Petrucchio/Kiss Me, Kate. NYC: Gleeam, Diamond Dead. www.andrewlloydbaughman.com
Matt Baughman (Phart as Old Man Strong; Argyle as Officer Barrel; Basil as Hot Blades Harry) is happy to be making his puppet voice acting debut! Recent Credits: Noises Off (Gary/Roger), Cumberland Theatre; Hobson’s Choice (Will Mossop) Quotidian Theatre; The Mystery of Edwin Drood [Prog Metal Version] (Phillip Bax/Bazzard), LTC; SWITCH (Male Ensemble), The Welders; Boeing, Boeing (Bernard), NextStop Theatre Company; One Man, Two Guvs (Alan/Alfie), Maryland Ensemble Theatre. Matt will hopefully be performing next in COVID postponed productions of Closer (Dan) and Of Mice of Men (George) in the near future.
Mikey Bevarelli (Tofu as Bobby Strong) is happy for the opportunity to perform with Landless Theatre again, previously appearing in Coraline and Sweeney Todd: Prog Metal Version. Over the past decade, he has performed at many other DC area theatres including Constellation Theatre, NextStop Theatre, Open Circle Theatre, Spooky Action Theatre, Scena Theatre, Toby’s Dinner Theatre, 1st Stage, WSC Avant Bard, Imagination Stage, and Adventure Theatre. You can also hear him and his wife Jen talk about forgotten musicals on their podcast Buried Broadway on wherever you listen to podcasts! www.Bevarelli.com
Sidney Davis (Percy as Caldwell B. Cladwell) DC AREA: Caterpillar (Lost in Wonderland) Andrew (Recent Tragic Events) Herbie (Gypsy) Peter (Romeo & Juliet) Vealtnick Husz (A Bright Room Called Day) Frederick (Noises Off!), Leaf Coneybear (25th Annual Putnam Co. Spelling Bee) Jack Worthing (The Importance of Being Earnest) Herbie (Gypsy), Earl (Book of Days). National Tour: Beauty and the Beast (Ensemble/Swing/Beast US), Regional: Luther Billis (South Pacific). Sidney holds a B.A. in Theatre and a B.F.A in Music. Sidney attended Louisiana Tech University for Graduate School in Theatre.
Stefanie Garcia (Maria as Hope Cladwell) is a proud Associate Performing Artist with The Landless Theatre Company. She has performed with Landless in productions such as High Fidelity: the Musical (Marie La Salle), Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog (Penny), Cannibal! the Musical (Polly Pry), and more. Her work at DC area theaters includes the Kennedy Center, Studio Theater, Olney Theater, Keegan Theatre, Gala Hispanic Theatre, and more. Stefanie can be heard as the Voice of God for the 25th annual Hispanic Heritage Awards.
Julieta Gozalo (Arthur as McQueen; Helga as Little Becky Two-Shoes) REGIONAL: Strand Theatre Company – Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Jane Bingley), Flying V – Crystal Creek Motel (Delfin), Adventure Theatre – Cat in the Hat (Sally/Fish/Ensemble u/s), Winnie the Pooh (Swing), Ally Theatre Company – The Head that Wears the Crown (Bethanie), Monumental Theatre Company – Infinite Future: Bernstein’s Lasting Impact (Soloist), Capital Fringe Festival – Riot Brrrain (Carrie/Molly/Taylor); EDUCATIONAL: Clove (Emilia), Love and Information (Ensemble), The Schooling of Bento Bonchev (Sandy), Bat Boy: The Musical (Ruthie/Ned), Servant of Two Masters (Clarice), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Ensemble); EDUCATION: University of Maryland (BA in Theatre), Signature Theatre (Overtures)
Ally Jenkins (Pearl as Josephine Strong; Franz as Dr. Billeux) is thrilled to be performing again, even if not yet in a theater full of people. Ally serves as Landless’ Associate Producing Director and is a Founding Company Member. Ally was last seen on stage in the DC Premiere of PUFFS and has been acting professionally in the DC area for over 30 years. You can also hear her on The Rewind Project Podcast, where she and her co-hosts rewatch and discuss movies celebrating their milestone anniversaries.
Felicia Lobo (Cricket as Little Sally) is a Brooklyn-based director, performer, and musician. She directs spooky plays and loud musicals, most notably Pop Punk High (Le Poisson Rouge) and immersive horror experiences with Insomnium Theatre Company. As a performer, she has most recently starred in The Weird (The Brick Theatre) and Motherhose (a short film directed by Francesca Pazniokas). Felicia is currently pursuing her masters in Educational Theatre from City College of New York. In addition, she is in a punk band called QWAM and runs a YouTube channel called GirlyGore. BFA: NYU Tisch (Atlantic Acting School). www.felicialobo.com
Rachel Lockett (Sunshine as Soupy Sue; Freddie as Senator Fipp) is a DMV-based actor and singer. Rachel currently holds a Bachelors in Music from Goucher College and a Masters in Musical Theatre Studies from Temple University. Educational acting credits include Sally Brown (You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown), Rona Lisa Peretti (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), and Gianetta (L’Elisir D’Amore (The Elixir of Love)). Professional acting includes Gloria (understudy) in Madagascar the Musical at Adventure Theatre MTC (Postponed Indefinitely Due to Covid-19). She is excited to be with the Landless Theatre Company and use her voice in this unique and creative production! Website: www.rachel-lockett.com.
Karissa Swanigan (Sassafras as Penelope Pennywise) is an actor, choreographer, director, and cabaret artist. She has been performing in the DC area for 20+ years and has been thrilled have been a part of many Landless Theatre Co. productions during that time. Regional credits: Laura/High Fidelity, Cheryl/Evil Dead, Barbara/Night of the Living Dead, Spider Woman/Kiss of the Spider Woman, Elmira/Nevermore, Aria/Diamond Dead, Regina/Rock of Ages. Signature Theatre Sizzling Summer Cabaret Series, LaTiDo, Workhouse Arts Cabaret Series; Creative Cauldron Cabaret Series. NYC: Diamond Dead.