When confronted with the title of Jonathan Larson’s epic rock opera/ musical RENT, what emotions are you suddenly filled with? Passion? Nostalgia? Loss? Or perhaps celebration and friendship come to mind? Maybe you simply want to know, “What is RENT?” Whatever your gut-response, we surmise the same ideas and thoughts lived at the core inside Larson’s purest intentions while he created the world of RENT during the last few years of his life.
Reality rushes to the fore then and now. After many years of writing, work-shopping and previewing the production, sadly, he did not live to see RENT’s opening night performance on Broadway. Since Larson’s unexpected passing, RENT has experienced an award-winning run on Broadway, and has enjoyed celebrated productions all over the world by artists and performers, professionals…students, and all creatives in between. We’re convinced that RENT’s magnetism is due to the powerful music and unforgettable text…and lyrics! This is exactly why Silhouette Stages is honored to give Larson’s legacy a home inside their season this year; October 25th through November 4thh at Wilde Lake Village Center’s Slayton House Theatre.
Based on Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT follows a year in the life of a group of friends; bohemian artists struggling to survive and create in New York’s Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
“The story is about friendship and how random occurrences can bring people together and how we forge these relationships that last a lifetime. It shows how the friends you make in your life turn in to a second family that you want to protect and be there for, laugh and cry with, and face life’s struggles with, like poverty, disease and loss. This play somehow manages to explore all of these themes in life that can be really painful and yet leaves the audience feeling a sense of joy and hope. The very last words you hear in the show are “no day but today,” which urges the audience to live today, this moment, as your last.” – Jason Phillips, ‘Roger’
RENT is a show that adapts to each cast, drawing from their own experiences. It has a life of its own, being molded by whoever encounters it, and brings truth and meaning to raw experiences, which is why people from all backgrounds can relate. Larson challenges each company to adapt the script to reflect the essence of what each cast member brings to the stage.
Because RENT possesses this element, the cast draws from their personal experiences, hardships, and joys to tell the story Larson has created. Our production of RENT is a show of emotion and family, which we have melded into a unique journey for all to experience.
Our production exudes the love each member has had for this show, and the cast and production team members have offered up their feelings below to give you an idea about the passion being brought to the stage:
“No matter how far away from the show I get – the music is ingrained in my soul and it will always resonate with the part of me that was a girl who was growing in to a woman.” – Stacey Bonds, Ensemble
“The entire theme of the show, at least as I took it, resonated with me like no other musical had before: the concept of living life to its fullest, no matter what is going on in your life; poverty, sickness, bigotry. Add to that the frank look at topics like AIDS and homosexuality, and I had never seen anything so seemingly real and relatable.” – Jim Gross, Ensemble
“This show literally changed my life; it is the show that made me fall in love with theatre. It makes you realize that you can’t take life for granted and that every day is a gift.” – Joe Bohrer, Ensemble
“I had no idea while I was listening to this infectious soundtrack (as a young and very sheltered teen) that within the next two years my newly hatched rebellion would spiral out of control and brush closer to this electric storyline than I would have ever foreseen. I became obsessed with the show.” – Cortney Baca, Ensemble
“RENT has captured my heart completely. The heart-wrenching story, the in-your-face music, all culminates into a true and beautiful theatrical experience. The actors have breathed incredible passion and life into Jonathan Larson’s words and I enjoy being a voyeur of the RENT world they – WE have built.” – Santina Maiolatesi. Production Management/Marketing
Being a part of the RENT experience is a journey discovered and traveled by all, whether you are a participant or an observer. Director, Susan Kramer, has created this world and is inviting you to experience this journey with us. Kathryn Marshall, a local performer, put it best by saying our director is, “Putting her artistic expertise and blow-your-mind creativity behind Silhouette Stage’s drive for production excellence and will cause a glow throughout the Baltimore-Washington theater community, the likes of which hasn’t been seen before”.
NO DAY BUT TODAY!!
Performances for Silhouette Stages’ RENT are scheduled for October 25th to the 28th, and from November 1st to the 4th on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m, at Wilde Lake Village Center’s Slayton House Theatre -10400 Cross Fox Lane, in Columbia, MD 21044. Tickets are $18 for general admission and $15 for Seniors, Military, and Students. Tickets may be purchased by calling (410) 637- 5289, or by purchasing them online here or on Silhouette Stages’ website. Click on the “Seat Yourself” logo at the upper left.
Note: Parental guidance suggested. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
Book, Music, and Lyrics: Jonathan Larson
SSI President: Mo Dutterer
SSI Producer: Debbie Mobley
SSI Technical Director: Steve Teller
Director: Susan.G. Kramer
Music Director: Stacey Antoine
Chorographer: Brandon Sinclair
Light Design: Chris Mobley
Set Coordinator: Alex Porter
Scenic Artist: Ryan Haase
Props Design: Madison Bahr
Costume Design: Darius McKeiver and Jessica Welch
Dance Captain: Cortney Baca
Production Management/Marketing: Santina Maiolatesi
Stage Manager: Rebecca Griffith
Angel: Malcolm Lewis
Mark: Randy Dunkle
Maureen: Nina Kauffman
Mimi: Caelyn Sommerville
Roger: Jason Phillips
Joanne: Zaria Stott
Benny: John Gurtshaw
Collins: Jamar Brown
Ensemble: Ashley Avenoso, Cortney Baca, Keith Becraft, Joseph Bohrer, Stacey Bonds, Keri Eastridge, Nicholas Genna, Jim Gross, and Danielle Sherry