Rutgers–Camden Theater caps its spring season with Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning rock opera Rent, one of the most popular and critically acclaimed Broadway musicals of the past 30 years.
Based loosely on Puccini’s La Bohème, Rent follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s East Village, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. Rent is about falling in love, finding your voice, and living for today.
“It’s a show that is very specific in terms of its time and place,” according to the director, Dr. Kenneth Elliott, chair of the Department of Visual, Media, and Performing Arts. “It’s set during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 90s in New York’s East Village, which was then on the cusp of gentrification. But its themes of love, loss, and finding family are universal. And what a great score!”
The cast of 16 Rutgers–Camden students is headed by Cory Yhap as Roger, Vivianna Aviles as Mimi, Andrew Merkle as Mark, Nate Boyle as Tom Collins, Isaiah Dingle as Angel, Taylor Eccles as Maureen, and Chidinma Chukwueke as Joanne. The scenery is by Prof. James Mobley; Prof. Millie Hiibel is creating the costumes. Drew Billiau is the lighting designer, and musical direction is by Prof. Soyeon Bin.
The show runs two weekends on the stage of the Walter K. Gordon Theater, April 13-23; performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 pm, with a matinee performance on Sunday, April 23 at 2:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the Impact Booth in the Campus Center, at the box office one hour prior to showtime, or online.