Student Theatre Programs


Jonathan Larson

Document Type

Play Program


Program for Rent.

Publication Date



Rent provides us with a powerful and straightforward concept of love in today’s divisive climate. Our show is set on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1989-1990 when the population of artists and unhoused people faced the daunting expense of the AIDS epidemic. This disease was a taboo subject primarily due to the people most heavily impacted by it, members of the LGBTQ+ community and drug users. Rent was produced in 1996; while advancements were being made in the treatment of HIV, there were still scores of people being lost and scores of people in mourning. Johnathan Larson adapted Puccini’s opera, La Boehme. He humanized those viewed by many as expendable in the wake of this crisis. The characters live as if this is their last day on earth, adopting the philosophy “No day but today.” The uncertainty of a tomorrow is too real for many of them. Because of this, we see all of the different iterations of love played out: new love, romantic love, familial love, messy love, platonic love, and all of love’s other forms. Love is what saves. Love is what heals; as the seasons change, the consistent thing is love. So it is with love we present this show to you; may it be an inspiration to us all to open our hearts and see the human behind the labels.



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