As the Western Carolina University Theatre sparkles from the spotlight of its 2010-11 main stage season, it will soon be taken over by an authentic Broadway portrayal of the musical known as “Rent.”
On Wednesday Nov. 17, and the weekend of Nov. 20-21, the production “Rent,” written by Jonathan Larson, will be performed at WCU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center. The production will feature guest director Owen Johnston who has performed and choreographed for a Broadway company for 11 years.
Johnston plans to incorporate as much of the Broadway experience he can into the show.
“Rent is specific to the location and the story that it tells,” said Johnston. “It’s a beautiful show. I will do a few things to mix it up, but there will be a lot of Broadway on this stage.”
The famous musical tells the story of a group of poor, gifted artists and musicians struggling for success in the Lower East Side of New York. The play depicts a year in the life of two roommates and their friends learning to deal with love, loss and everyday life.
The props and costumes will resemble the Broadway set in hopes that the show will be recognizable. The storyline and just about everything about “Rent” will be familiar to anyone who has seen the Broadway Company production. Johnston is very pleased with the casting of the show and reports that the actors are very strong.
“WCU has really been accommodating in trying to make the production what I want it to be,” said Johnston. “With our budget it’s remarkable. We have such a creative staff and they have been very supportive.”
The production will feature the following musical theatre majors: Patrick Detloff, Desmond Anthony, Junior Elizabeth Wiltcher, Jonathan Cobrda, Dalton Hood and Tyler McKenzie, Alex Hairston and Tierney Cody.
Johnston has been preparing for the role as director by compiling notes and reviewing the show in order to keep the content fresh. With such a truncated schedule, Johnston worried about the completion of the show on time. However, he is now satisfied with the progress and is confident that the show will be a great success.
“I wanted to get the show up as quick as possible so that the actors could take ownership of the roles,” said Johnston. “I wanted to give the actors an experience similar to Broadway.”
The storyline and just about everything about “Rent” will be familiar to anyone who has seen the Broadway Company production. Johnston is very pleased with the casting of the show and reports that the actors are very strong.
Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets cost $20 for the general public; $15 for seniors and WCU faculty and staff; and $5 for students. “Rent” includes adult themes and sexual content and is intended for mature audiences.
For tickets or more information about “Rent,” call the Fine and Performing Arts Center box office at 828-227-2479 or go online to fapac.wcu.edu.