While it’s been 20 years since RENT first made its debut on Broadway, its music and lyrics still resonate with actors and audiences around the world, including right here in Tacoma. Opening at the University of Puget Sound this weekend, the beloved musical follows the lives of impoverished young artists struggling to make a life in New York City during the height of the AIDS crisis.
The production is a collaboration between the Department of Theatre Arts and School of Music. Taking inspiration from Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème, Jonathon Larson fused the energy of rock music with the traditions of opera to create a musical for all generations that went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama and multiple Tony awards.
“This is a show about choosing life and love in the face of death and disease,” said Director Jess K. Smith (UPS ’05) in a press release. RENT finds a way to remain hopeful while exploring the terrifying reality of a world wrought with AIDS, suicide, and drug addiction.
The show opens Friday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m. and there will be performances Saturday, February 27; Thursday, March 3; Friday, March 4; and Saturday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, March 6.
Learn about what goes on behind the scenes at RENT in Collins Library at Puget Sound, where student dramaturg Adrian Kljucec created a display that contextualizes the show with quotes, images, and artifacts related to AIDS, addiction, and other core themes as part of the Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture exhibit.
Tickets are $11 are for the general public; $7 for seniors (55+), students, military, and Puget Sound students, faculty, and staff. Purchase yours online today at tickets.pugetsound.edu, or at Wheelock Information Center, 253.879.3100. Remaining tickets will be available at the door.