Archival News Release
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2014
Theatre Department to Present Production of ‘Rent’ May 9 to 17
When ‘Rent,’ the musical loosely based on Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’ premiered on the Broadway stage in 1996, it took the theatre world by storm.
Among the thousands of “Rent-heads” who camped overnight at Nederlander Theater to snag limited rush seats to the musical was Matthew McCray, a college theatre student, who flew to New York just to experience the musical tour de force.
“Seeing ‘Rent’ live was kind of an affirmation,” said McCrary. “I was there to not only see the show, but to affirm my belief in what it was saying about creativity, artists, celebrating difference, promoting acceptance and love.”
Needless to say, McCrary is thrilled to be directing the College of the Canyons Theatre Department’s production of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center, running from May 9 to 17.
“It is incredibly satisfying to direct ‘Rent’ and see that students continue to be deeply affected by its story and message, just as I was 20 years ago when I was their age,” said McCray. “It’s hard to believe that ‘Rent’ is almost 20 years old but comforting to see that its themes continue to speak to passionate hearts and minds.”
Set in New York’s East Village, ‘Rent’ follows a year in the life of a group of struggling artists and musicians who fight for their dreams, loves and ‘La Vie Boheme’ while living under the shadow of AIDS.
The college’s production features a talented and diverse cast of students and community members, including the reigning Miss Mexico City and COC theatre graduate, Setareh Khatibi.
“It is very exciting to bring ‘Rent’ to the PAC stage for a new generation of theatre lovers to enjoy,” said Paul Wickline, chair of the COC theatre department and the play’s producer. “This is also a wonderful learning opportunity for our talented and diverse cast, many of whom are making their theatrical debut at COC.”
‘Rent’ opens at 8 p.m. Friday, May 9-10 and continues at 8 p.m. May 16-17. A matinee performance will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 11.
The entire cast is as follows:
Colin Roberts… Mark
Gage Rothstein… Roger
Sabrina Lewis… Mrs. Cohen, Homeless, Ensemble
Lawrence Patchin… Collins
Joshua Hansen-Clark… Benny
Khylan Jones… Joanne
Ever Pabon Torres… Angel
Francisca Riso… Mimi
Setareh Khatibi… Maureen
Christopher Richards… Mr. Jefferson, Squeegee Man, Ensemble
Maia McDaniel… Mrs. Jefferson, Roger’s mom, Ensemble
Tim Cervenka… Gordon, Waiter, Ensemble
Michael Keith… Paul, The Man, Ensemble
Shannon Whalen… Vendor, Mimi’s mom, Ensemble
Aubrie Alexander… Soloist, Homeless, Ensemble
Breana Tomey… Alexi Darling, Homeless, Ensemble
Note: Cast photos available on request.