Following Support from Goodspeed Musicals and More, Canceled School Production of Rent Will Go On

News   Following Support from Goodspeed Musicals and More, Canceled School Production of Rent Will Go On
The canceled production of Rent: School Edition that was to take place this spring at Trumbull High School in Trumbull, CT — approximately 66 miles from where the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical by Jonathan Larson premiered on Broadway — will go on, according to a post on the show's Facebook page.

Jonathan Larson
Jonathan Larson

As previously reported, the Trumbull High administration, under first-year principal Marc Guarino, informed the school's Thespian Society that they would not be able to produce Rent: School Edition — a musical that covers topics such as homosexuality, drug use and the AIDS epidemic — which was planned for a March 25-27, 2014, run at Trumbull.

The students at Trumbull took immediate action to try and reinstate the production into the high school calendar by creating a Facebook page (which now has over 7,000 "likes"), talking to national press and submitting materials — in support of the production — to the school's board of education.

Read the interview with Trumbull senior Larissa Mark, who spearheaded the call to action.

Following the massive outpouring of support, the Tony Award-winning Goodspeed Musicals reached out Dec. 9 to the students at Trumbull to offer the Goodspeed Opera House for their production of Rent.

Michael Price, executive director of Goodspeed Musicals, said in a statement, "It breaks my heart to know that just as musical theatre is gaining popularity with young people, such a passionate group of students may be prevented from sharing their message with the community. Goodspeed stands in strong support of the students' efforts to do challenging work at their high school, and, if that's not possible, we'd be honored to offer a platform to lift their voices in Jonathan Larson's moving and classic songs, which deserve to be sung by the very young people he was writing about and for." According to press notes, "Many of the staff at Goodspeed Musicals have been following Larissa Marks and her fellow members of the THS Thespian Society's great efforts to ensure that Rent: The School Edition can be produced at Trumbull High School in the Spring. Since the fate of that production remains in peril, the folks at Goodspeed have been moved to make a gesture of support by offering the nationally renowned theater as an alternate venue for a performance by these inspiring students."

On Dec. 10, the Trumbull for Rent Facebook page posted the below message:

Dear Trumbull for RENT supporters,

Tonight we have a stroke of positive news to present. This evening Trumbull's first selectman Tim Herbst announced on the radio station WICC that he and our principal Mr. Guarino are now committed to bring RENT to Trumbull High this academic year. While the timeline of this proposal and the details are yet to have been worked out, this is the first of many steps we will hopefully take to bring RENT to Trumbull.

In the past week we have received so many generous offers and without this support we would have never gotten this far in our campaign for RENT at Trumbull High. I am sure that by keeping up this collaboration we will be able to put on a wonderful production and help spread RENT's messages of love and acceptance.

An official announcement regarding the production is expected.

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