Federation University Arts Academy RENTWinner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, RENT has become a pop cultural phenomenon. With songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages, it’s a powerful tale about falling in love, finding your voice… and living for today.

Based on Puccini’s beloved opera La Bohème, RENT traverses the rocky terrain of a year with a group of impoverished, artistic friends living in Manhattan’s East Village. Their dreams, losses, and loves weave through this award -winning musical to paint a stunningly raw and emotional portrait of the gritty bohemian world of New York City in the late 1980s, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

Running 28 April to 6 May, Melbourne audiences will have the chance to see this much lauded hit performed by the next generation of Australian Music Theatre artists. Performed by two different casts across a limited season, this latest offering from the Arts Academy Ballarat promises a dynamic night, not to be missed.

Hailing from the esteemed Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre) Course at the Arts Academy, Federation University Australia in Ballarat, this program provides training by some of the most respected arts makers, teachers and industry leaders, both in Australia and internationally.

“We can proudly say that generations of Australia’s leading music theatre actors have studied at the Arts Academy at FedUni,” says Arts Academy Ballarat Director Bryce Ives. “Our Music Theatre program is a renowned creative hothouse, and the regional township of Ballarat provides an invigorating and surprising backdrop to master the art of creating and performing.”

“We’ve assembled a stellar team of artists, including Director Jeremy Stanford and Music Director Robyn Womersley, for this production and they have been charged with the task to challenge and provoke our students to create a contemporary and visionary take on this iconic musical.”

RENT is passionate and raw, it’s both a love letter and the scream from the Kurt Cobain generation, a generation who witnessed Reagan and Thatcher destroy the fabric of communities, and a generation who were living in the shadow of the AIDS epidemic. 2017 is a junction point to reconsider how the politics of that time influence this precise moment.”

Director: Jeremy Stanford Performers: 2017 Graduating Music Theatre Company Musical Director: Robyn Womersley Choreographer: Cristina D’Agostino Stage Manager: Janine Stacey Lighting Design: Niklas Pajanti Sound Design: Phillip Pietruschka Set Design: Adrienne Chisholm Costume Design: Julia Spizzica

Athenaeum 2, 188 Collins Street, Melbourne
Season: 28 April – 6 May 2017

Image: Cast of RENT (supplied)