Designer Creates Unique Backdrop for Deer Park Musical “Urinetown”


A futuristic retro decor with a movable wall and staircase is the latest creation from Technical Director Joe Piper for Art Park Players.

The group will perform the musical satire “Urinetown: The Musical” on the weekends of October 8-23.

“It’s a very industrial, almost Steampunk look,” said the Deer Park resident and City of Deer Park employee.

“And I’m not a welder; so it’s made of wood that we painted with different chips to look metallic. We cut pieces to make them look like beams.

Piper, 40, learned directing and carpentry at Clear Brook High School in Friendswood, where he graduated in 1999.

In high school, he said, “For a play called ‘Peer Gynt’, we built a huge mountain 20 feet high, out of paper and wooden crates.

After graduation, Piper worked as a cabinetmaker and carpenter in new construction for two years before landing her current job with the town of Deer Park.

In addition to designing and building sets for Art Park Players, Piper is also the city videographer and does special projects such as building a birdhouse to make library books.

What: “Urinetown: The Musical”

Or: Art Park Players, Deer Park Municipal Court and Theater, 1302 Center Street, Deer Park

When: Meal at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Oct 8-9, 15-16, 22-23; 1 p.m. meal, 2 p.m. show, Sundays 10 and 17 Oct.

Cost: Dinner and show tickets are $ 40 each (reservations are required); tickets for the show only are $ 18 each (reservations recommended); seats reserved for the show start 15 minutes before the time of the show.

Information: 281-478-7288;

“It’s extremely unique to be an employee of the city and to do the things that I do,” he said. “I love my job, that’s why I’m here.

“I’m not your typical designer – I don’t use a computer,” Piper said. “I build everything in my head. Fortunately, my assistant, Mitchell Denno, can really read my mind. We have volunteers who help with our tray, and Fred White, who has volunteered for 43 years, works here now.

The Art Park Players shows are productions of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. They take place in the City Court and Theater building in Deer Park, where Piper constructed a 16-foot building. rotating platform on the stage.

The 2021-22 season at Art Park Players will continue with “Always… Patsy Cline” February 11-26, “Snapshots” April 22-May 7, and “Footloose The Musical” July 8-23.

In “Urinetown,” a 20-year drought has left a once thriving town with so little water that its government has banned private toilets. When taxes are raised on the already draconian charges for using public facilities, a noble hero emerges to lead a popular revolution. David Eck directed the musical, which won three Tony Awards on Broadway.

Alex Musgrove is the musical director.

The choreographer is Elsa Moen Lammey.

The cast includes Jennifer Stewart, Jeanmarie Eck, Jonathan Lammey, Catherine Campbell, Joshua Figueroa, Betsy Fisher, Rebecca Lewis, Brandon Tanner, Kevyn Eddy, Cameron Walsh, Jennifer McLaughlin, Matt Peña, Ida Fribert, Rachel Connelly, Spencer Langseth, Gabriela Rosales and Rebecca Bauerlein.

Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be contacted at [email protected]

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