October 17, 2012

Rock musical ‘Rent’ to open at McLeod Theater

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The theater season at Southern Illinois University Carbondale opens this week with the rock musical "Rent," which runs Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 18-21, in the Communications Building's McLeod Theater.

The story, set in the 1990s, follows a group of artists who struggle to survive in bohemian lower East Side Manhattan, where money and art don't always go hand in hand. The musical loosely follows the tragic romance of Puccini's "La Boehme" opera, with modern themes such as the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic updating the story.

The musical plays each day at 7:30 p.m., except for Sunday's show, which is a 2 p.m. matinee. Tickets are $16 for adults, $6 for students. Ticket information is available at http://theater.siu.edu/production/currentseason.html. This play is recommended for adults and mature teens.

The SIU Carbondale production features a student cast that includes Zach Pilot, a graduate student majoring in psychology with a specialization in brain and cognitive sciences; Samantha Myers and Lawrence O'Neill, seniors who are majoring in musical theater; Josh Kimball and Rachel Dunning, juniors majoring in musical theater; Devontae Weaver, a freshman majoring in musical theater; Vincent Hale, a graduate student in the School of Music, and Angie Fisher, a McLeod Theater stage veteran.

The ensemble includes SIU Carbondale students: Zach Bollman, Noah Coleman, Mitch Connolly, Tanya DeLeon, Phillip George, Manning Goldman, Amy Myers, Jonathan Rivera, Charley Robinson, Marla Schultz, Keylah Sykes, Julie Shiely, and Romel Williams.

Courtney Self, a dance, acting and movement lecturer in the Department of Theater, directs and choreographs the performance. Tim Fink, a professor of musical theater and Kay Satoh, a graduate student in the School of Music, serve as musical co-directors. Ron Naverson, a professor in the Department of Theater designed the set, while graduate students Anthony L. Reed and Elise Kulovany, managed the lighting and designed the costumes, respectfully.

A pre-show lecture is at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts Dean's Conference Room (off the McLeod Theater lobby). Tim Fink will compare and contrast "La Boehme" and "Rent." The lecture is free.