TONY AWARD AND PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING MUSICAL ‘RENT’ TO BE STAGED AT COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON
Presented by the College of Charleston’s department of theatre and dance, “Rent” is a multiple award-winning musical based loosely on Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Boheme.” With music, lyrics and book by Jonathan Larson, this rock musical shares the story of eight impoverished artistic friends struggling to survive bohemian life in Manhattan’s East Village in the late 1980s/early 1990s. The group’s dreams, losses and love stories weave through the musical’s narration to paint a stunningly raw and emotional portrait of life at the end of the millenium in a gritty world being torn apart by drugs, HIV/AIDS, social tension and political unrest. Yet, through all of that darkness, it offers a positive outlook on life and living that resonates with everyone.
Following its off-Broadway run and a Pulitzer Prize win, the musical premiered on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre in April 1996 and ran for 12 years, having presented over 5,000 performances. Winner of four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Featured Actor, “Rent” is the eleventh longest-running Broadway show. During its 20th Broadway-opening anniversary last year, a national tour was launched in celebration.
The College’s production is directed by theatre faculty member Todd McNerney with musical direction by guest artist Justin Wham and choreography by adjunct dance faculty member Jessica Cerovic.
The score features a number of famous songs, including “Seasons of Love,” “No Day But Today,” “Rent,” and “La Vie Boheme.” A five-piece rock band will perform with the show.
McNerney says “While the story of the play is set in a time and place with which many will be unfamiliar, the play’s lasting popularity may be due in large part to its life affirmming tone. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters – love.”
The design team includes Department of Theatre and Dance students Kaitlyn Bailey (Costumes) and Carrie Ferrelli (Set), and guest designer Lauren Duffie (Lighting). Stage manager is theatre student Kayla Robbins.
Principal characters include aspiring film maker Mark Cohen and his rock and roll front man roommate Roger Davis played respectively by students Jonathan Harper and Harrison Carr. Their former roommate, the vagabond professor, Tom Collins and his savior the street musician Angel Schunard are played respectively by Clyde Moser and Nick Brown. Also featured are Abriana Quinones as Mimi Marquez, Carolina Connell as Maureen Johnson, Leala Grindstaff as Joanne Jefferson, and Javaron Conyers as Benjamin Coffin.
The production will run Thursday, April 6 through Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Curtain times will be 7:30 p.m., except the Sunday show at 2:00 p.m. only. Performances will take place at the Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Admission is $20 for general public; $15 for senior citizens College of Charleston employees and non-College of Charleston students; $12 for College of Charleston students. Tickets can be purchased online at theatre.cofc.edu or by calling (843) 953-6306. This production contains mature thematic material including drugs, sexuality, and some adult language. Discretion is advised.