Olentangy performs ‘Rent’ musical

On Saturday Dec. 7 and Sunday Dec. 8 the theater program performed the musical “Rent”. There was a total of three performances which all took place in the auditorium. 

“Rent” is a Broadway production set to take place in the East Village of New York City, from 1989-1990. It is revolved around a group of friends who live the bohemian lifestyle, and their stories are told as they struggle with love, loss, sexuality and the need to pay rent.

The plot of “Rent” is geared towards a mature audience as it deals with profanity and drug use, but the themes of sexuality and poverty are important for all to be educated on and exposed to.

“From the beginning of the rehearsal process all of us were nervous for the performances because “Rent” contains a sensitive subject matter, but the community seemed to enjoy the show. We opened a lot of communities eyes to an epidemic that affects many people’s lives,” performer Natalie S. ‘21 said.

Audience members had a similar take away from the show as the cast and crew did.

“I did not see the original Broadway production, but I know teachers wondered how the material would be handled as a school production. I was very impressed with the way it was handled by not only the actors, but the audience too. The themes are relevant today and in high school as well, so I thought it provided an avenue for them to be addressed,” Spanish teacher and audience member Mia Williams said.

The atmosphere “Rent” provided for the students who took part in it appeared to be a “dream.” It was described as multiple student’s favorite high school memory so far.

“The theater is such a positive environment. Every rehearsal the cast showed up ready to work and were uplifting towards one another. The show was a blast, and I was lucky to be apart of such a talented cast,” performer Jack C. ‘22 said.

All the time and hard work put into the production of “Rent” was evident as the show ran smoothly, and all the songs were cohesive. The setup of the stage along with the props and costumes all fit each scene of the show. They set the mood for the audience and helped further the storyline.

As an audience member, people often expect the show to be perfection and performed with no errors, but often what people fail to recognize is how much time and dedication is required of the cast members to get the show up to such standards.

“At some rehearsals we would learn all the music, and at others we would walk through the show and receive comments on what we could do to improve. The week of the show is called ‘tech week’ which is where we all get dressed in our costumes, and the crew works with the microphones, lighting and props to make sure we are ready to go,” Jack C. ‘22 said.

Audience members walked into the school eager to see the show. It left them with a new appreciation for all the students who worked to create the incredible production, and it taught all involved valuable lessons.

“There are many takeaways from the show, but what stuck with me comes from the last verse in the entire show, ‘No day but today’. This line has taught me to live in the moment because regrets only slow you down,” Natalie S. ‘21 said.

 “Rent” will remain unforgettable at OHS.

‘“Rent” was one of the best performances I have seen at OHS,” Williams said, and it is safe to say any other audience member would agree.