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Midland Center for the Arts presents Outdoor Production of RENTThere is no day like today, and that message which made its debut on Broadway in 1996 continues to ring loud and true today. A sentiment that will be shared during the upcoming production of RENT on the Outdoor Stage at Midland Center for the Arts, August 4 – 13. Following weeks of dedicated rehearsals by members of the community, the Center’s community theatre company, Center Stage Theatre, has captured the show’s resilience and tragedy through meticulous stage direction and a strong camaraderie.
“RENT is a show that is so complex in its storyline as it aims to conquer numerous struggles that many individuals face in their lifetime,” said Travis Kendrick, Midland Center’s Manager of Produced Theatre and Theatre Education. “When this show was written, it was completely ahead of its time. Today, its depiction of themes like addiction, materialism, and living a meaningful life still remain timeless. That’s the magic of this musical. Audience members are bound to leave resonating with the importance of its narrative.”
Written by the late Jonathan Larson, RENT navigates a year in the life of impoverished young bohemian artist and musicians struggling to survive and flourish in New York’s Lower East Side under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. Roger, Mimi, Tom, Angel, Maureen, Joanne, Benny, and Mark must fight to fulfill their dreams and their lives by overcoming hardship and conflict through passion, love, and joy during their acclaimed seasons of love.
“With the complexity of the show’s heavy topics, it was important that the cast took the time to really understand and contemplate how to portray them with authenticity and genuineness,” added Kendrick. “The cast has developed a powerful kinship amongst each other that is visible on the stage during the scene work, catapulting audience members into the bohemian world entirely. What we have established has made me fall in love with RENT beyond what I thought was possible.”
RENT runs for two weekends from August 4 – 13, 2022 with performances every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 p.m. on the Outdoor Stage at Midland Center for the Arts. On August 6 and 11 at 7 p.m., there will be a free pre-show discussion with Shelterhouse, GLAD at Dow, and members of the creative team on the topics addressed in the musical. Tickets are available online at midlandcenter.org, at the ticket office, or by calling 989-631-8250. Theatre programs at Midland Center for the Arts are made possible in part through the generosity of Neil & Annmarie Hawkins.