By Colleen Mcdougal
The curtain goes up on a stage. Three young men stand center stage; Mark, a filmmaker, Roger, a songwriter and Collins, the philosopher. This is the musical Rent . The history behind the show, the play itself, the cast and behind the scenes are all important parts of this love story.
In the first few minutes of the production, Lance Petersen talked about the show. Rent is a Broadway musical that opened on April 29, 1996. It’s based on an opera called La Boheme, written by Puccini which opened in 1896. The title Rent, means the monthly payment to a land lord and the payment made to friends of caring and helping. A rent in a piece of cloth, Mr. Peterson also said, was a tear or rip symbolizing the isolation that comes when living with AIDS. Rent portrays the city and the HIV/AIDS epidemic and a group of friends battling this fatal disease. It is about “a group of people who have a lot of problems… and through one woman, Angel… they learn just too live for today,” said Kate Spence, 18, who plays Maureen.
The cast is all high school students who participate in their school theatre, choir and band programs. Justice Sky, 16, tells future high schoolers how to manage time and extracurricular activities like theatre: “I recommend not signing up for more than one thing at a time, but definitely do sign up and do after school stuff.” Justice was the only student allowed to be in the orchestra. He played bass guitar. William Conner, 17, is a tech manager. He does lighting and helps out at getting things going. I asked him what takes the most time and he said, picking up little tweaks, if someone forgot a prop and other little problems. He has been doing theatre for 2-3 years. The other main characters are Jody Gaines as Roger, Alder Fletcher as Mark, Drew Simpson as Gordon, John Hannan as Collins , Ben Handley as Benny , Wendy Hones as Mimi, Kirsten Swanson as Angel, Kate Spence as Maureen and Lauren Cashman as Joanne.
The music in Rent makes the whole play come alive, the colorful characters and costumes make it fun to watch. The deep morals such as, live for today, love for today as Ms. Spence, mentioned are touching. The dancing (choreographed by Breezy and Jill Berryman) is fluid and well done. A dramatic love story filled with loss, friendship and lessons learned, Rent!
Colleen Mcdougal is a junior high student who recently attended and reviewed “Rent.” She is earning a Girl Scout badge by completing this requirement
Comments are closed