City Circle - The 2009-10 City Circle season begins with an ambitious undertaking as present Rent: School Edition at the Englert Theatre Friday and Saturday, August 7 and 8, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, August 9, 2 p.m.
This rock musical is a specially-adapted version for high school students, omitting the song “Contact” and eliminates some of the coarse language. City Circle is the first local theater to produce the student edition of this ground-breaking musical.
Rent, considered by many to be the most exuberant and original American musical to come along in many years, reinvigorated Broadway and took the country by storm. Sweeping all major theater awards, including the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Rent was hailed as capturing the heart and spirit of a generation.
Based on Puccini’s opera La Boheme, Rent tells the story of impoverished young artists struggling to survive in New York’s Lower East Side under the shadow of AIDS. The production closed on Broadway in 2008 after a 12-year run, making it one of the longest running shows.
Though the subject matter remains challenging for the cast and audience, the story captures a major theme of coming together as a community and living each day to the fullest.
Set designer and director Michael Stokes has created a presentational and theatrical production, striving to break down the forth wall between the actors and audience. A chorus is used much like one in classical Greek theatre where they observe, direct, enhance, and participate in the action of the show.
Stokes explains the challenges that the production presents to the student cast, from the score to the subject matter to the relationships they portray. He comments, “These young people are truly amazing. The energy, effort, and enthusiasm they bring to rehearsal each day is well beyond their years.”
Music direction is by Judy Duncan, lighting design by Will Brown, and sound design by Harrison Burke.
Tickets are $23 for adults and $18 for students, seniors, and youth and are available by calling the Englert Box Office at 688-2653 between the hours of 1 and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, or online at www.englert.org.
For more information or questions, please contact director Michael Stokes at email@example.com.