Building on the success of the first Professional Series in its new, state-of-the-art facility, StarStruck Theatre announces its upcoming Student Series production of RENT: School Edition. Music Theatre International (MTI) granted StarStruck the privilege of producing the World Premiere of RENT: School Edition in 2007, and now the musical that changed Broadway is coming back to the Treasure Coast. It will play StarStruck Theatre April 20-29.
“RENT explores themes that resonate in every generation and with every human being,” said director Jennifer Jones. “The teens that are performing it love to put themselves into these characters that are going through extremely stressful situations - everything from health issues to emotional issues. Falling in love, breaking up, questioning who you are and really figuring out the value of life. Teenagers that ask themselves those questions in their own lives get to explore those themes through their characters.”
RENT, written by the late Jonathan Larson, debuted on Broadway in 1996 and tells the story of a group of friends trying to overcome life's struggles in New York City's East Village at the height of the AIDS crisis and the city's drug epidemic. The epitome of a rock opera, Jones is quick to note that this show is for the young and the young at heart.
“Although RENT is a rock musical, certainly it is a way for older people to understand the younger generation and the angst that goes along with growing up,” she said. “It is also a great way to relive what was going on in certain parts of New York in the 1980s and see how far we've come. At the same time, we can see what still needs to improve in our society.”
StarStruck produced the world premiere of RENT: School Edition at Stuart's Lyric Theatre, but Jones says she is excited about bringing the show to StarStruck's new space.
“I'm thrilled to do the show differently than the world premiere. My husband, Peter Jones, wrote music that is used in conjunction with Jonathan Larson's original score in order to incorporate more kids into the cast. I'm also excited to stage RENT in a more intimate venue,” she continued. “StarStruck's new theatre lends itself to a feeling of oneness, togetherness, and closeness. Stuart is such a close-knit community, and so is this theatre.”
RENT: School Edition
April 20-29 at StarStruck Theatre, 2101 S. Kanner Highway, Stuart, FL
Directed by Jennifer Jones, Musical Direction by Peter Jones, Choreography by Maria-Elena Alfieri
More information: www.starstruckfl.com