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ULM's VAPA to present 'RENT' the musical

Published March 7, 2016

MONROE, La. — ULM's School of Visual and Performing Arts has been known for their highly successful Spring Musicals with sold out shows such as “Guys and Dolls,” “Into The Woods” and “West Side Story.” This year will be no different with the Spring 2016 production of “RENT.”

Directed by Robin Stephens with Musical Direction by Jason Rinehart, the well-known Broadway musical is loosely based on the characters and story of Puccini’s “La Boehme.” RENT opened to New York audiences 20 years ago and immediately became a musical theatrical piece that’s changed the masses. Several significant events happened with the debut of this iconic work. It became the 1996 Tony Award winning Best Musical, Best Musical Score, and Best Book, won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and 35 year-old Jonathan Larson the composer, lyricist, and book writer died opening night.

The story is based in New York City’s East Village. The characters of “RENT” face challenges such as AIDS, drug addiction and death. Mark, an aspiring filmmaker, struggles to find his place in the world while his roommate, Roger, an HIV-positive musician, tries to find a way to leave his mark on the world before he dies. Mimi and Angel look for true love as they face the harsh reality of being young and HIV-positive. Two of the main characters, Tom Collins and Angel Schunard handle the everyday struggles of having AIDS and trying to find their place in the world. The groups’ challenges paint a raw and emotional portrait of the bohemian world of New York City in the late 1980s under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

“RENT” will run Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18 at 7:30 P.M. and Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20 at 2 P.M in ULM’s Brown Auditorium. 

Tickets for ULM students are $5 with a valid ID and $15 for general admission. ULM Faculty and Staff can purchase tickets for $5 each. 

In addition, an eclectic Bohemian style party begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 18 with the KEDM Public Radio Director’s Gala at ULM's Sculpture Garden. Tickets for the gala are $45, and it includes VIP tickets to the play.

To purchase tickets, visit https://www.ulm.edu/vapa/tickets.html 

For more information contact VAPA Box Office at 318-342-1414. Gala tickets are available by calling 318-342-5556.