Auditions for RENT

Performance Dates:  July 12th – July 28th, 2019
Audition Dates:  March 24th and 25th, 2019
Rehearsals Start:  May 12th, 2019

Auditions for RENT at Live Arts

This production is a Live Arts Teen Theater Company production.  This is the high school edition of RENT. Auditioners should

be 14 to 20 years old.

RENT

  • Directed by Ti Ames
  • Produced by Scott Dunn
  • Musical Direction by Julian Brass and Kristin Baltes
  • Choreography by TBA
  • Stage Manager: Chris Kelly

Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, Rent follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. The physical and emotional complications of the disease pervade the lives of Roger, Mimi, Tom and Angel. Maureen deals with her chronic infidelity through performance art; her partner, Joanne, wonders if their relationship is worth the trouble. Benny has sold out his Bohemian ideals in exchange for a hefty income and is on the outs with his former friends. Mark, an aspiring filmmaker, feels like an outsider to life in general. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves and conflicts provides the narrative thread to this groundbreaking musical.

DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Hello! Thank you for your interest in auditioning, and I can’t wait to meet you!

This particular production of RENT will focus on QTPOC visibility and finding modern parallels for a younger generation to understand the importance and urgency of Jonathan Larson’s work and how AIDS affected (and still affects) community and queer acceptance in the US. As a Black, queer and non-binary person, this show is very close to my heart for many reasons. From police brutality to violence against trans people, RENT speaks volumes about what it actually means to love oneself unapologetically in the midst of trauma and hardship. Young people still go through a lot, and that should never be discredited or invalidated. This production is a chance to voice these feelings and thoughts out loud and to both give and receive love in the ways that we deserve.

Note: Auditions are open to anyone ages 14-20, but I highly encourage students of color, trans/gender non-conforming, and queer students to audition!

CHARACTER BREAKDOWN

Mark Cohen

Filmmaker and video artist. Knee deep in his own soul-searching, Mark is the typical young artist. He and Roger are roommates in the loft. A bit of a nerd.

Roger Davis

A struggling musician and former drug addict. He is reminiscent of Kurt Cobain. Roommates with Mark in the loft and battles with being HIV-positive.

Tom Collins

A computer genius and liberal professor. He is a nurturer with a smooth and relaxed disposition. Used to be a roommate in the loft and is HIV-positive.

Benjamin Coffin III

The landlord of Mark and Roger’s apartment building. A former roommate in the loft, Benny traded in his personal morals for power and wealth.

Joanne Jefferson

A public interest lawyer and headstrong lesbian. She is smart and purposeful in all her decisions. Carries on a tumultuous relationship with Maureen.

Angel Dumott Schunard

The eccentric HIV-positive street drummer. A drag queen with an incredible gift of dance and a magnetic personality. He becomes Tom’s lover.

Mimi Marquez

An HIV-positive stripper with drug addictions. Slender and sickly, she conceals it all at her job in the local strip club. She lives in the same building as the loft.

Maureen Johnson

An unpredictably zany performance artist. Maureen oozes sexuality and used to live in the loft. She has recently dumped Mark for Joanne.

Ensemble

Cops; Vendors; Support Group (Paul, Steve, Gordon, Pam, Ali, Sue); Homeless People (Squeegieman, Blanket Person); Junkies; Parents (Mrs. Cohen, Mr. And Mrs. Jefferson, Roger’s Mom, Mimi’s Mother); “Leap Of Faith” Backups; Bohemians

VITAL INFO

PERFORMANCES. July 12th, 2019 – July 28th, 2019 Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; and Sundays at 2pm.

LOCATION. Performances take place in the Live Arts Gibson Theater (Downstage) at 123 East Water Street; the corner of 2nd SE and Water off the Downtown Mall.

REHEARSALS. This show will rehearse 5 days a week, Sundays through Thursdays, most often in the evenings (6:30 or 7pm – 10pm) from May until opening night. It is an intense schedule, but we do have air-conditioning (most of the time…). You will not always be called, but when you are called, we expect you to show up ready to perform!  We do our best to schedule around your availability if you give us your conflicts — but if you are planning a two-week trip to the Bahamas in June, this is not the show for you.

AUDITIONS

  • Sunday, March 24: 5 pm – 7 pm Singing auditions (Sign up for a 5 minute audition time.)
  • Sunday, March 24: 7 pm – 10 pm Dance Auditions (Be prepared to stay for the whole time.)
  • Monday, March 25: 6 pm – 7 pm Dance Auditions (Be prepared to stay for the whole time.)
  • Monday, March 25: 7pm – 10 pm Singing auditions (Sign up for a 5 minute audition time.)

CALLBACKS

  • Thursday, March 28: 7 pm – 10 pm Callbacks (by invitation only)
  • Saturday,  March 30: 10 pm – 5 pm Callbacks (by invitation only)

AUDITION DETAILS

  • Dance Auditions are 7pm – 10pm Sunday, March 24th and 6pm – 7pm Monday, March 25th. Everyone must attend one of the dance calls regardless of what day you sing! Wear dance appropriate clothing and appropriate shoes.
  • Singing Auditions are 5pm – 7pm Sunday, March 24th and 7pm-10pm Monday, March 25th. (You must sign up for a 5 minute time slot. Email chris@livearts.org with your time and character preference or vocal range, if you know it.)
  • If you cannot attend, please contact us at volunteer@livearts.org as we may be able to schedule a different time.
  • Call-backs will be scheduled for Sunday, April 22nd from 7pm – 10pm. Callbacks are by invitation only. At callbacks, you will be asked to sing a specific song from the show, and you may be asked to read a scene from the play as well.

WHAT WILL YOU DO AT THE AUDITION?

  • DANCE AUDITION!  – You will come in to learn a choreographed number together.  You will then be broken up into smaller groups for the remainder of the dance portion.  Be prepared to stay for the entire time.
  • SING! – Please prepare 32 bars of a song showcasing your abilities. (That’s about one verse…) Bring music for your accompanist in a three-ring binder, WELL MARKED WITH WHERE TO START AND STOP.  WE ARE LOOKING FOR A CAST WITH STRONG HARMONIZING ABILITIES. Please prepare a second contrasting selection in case the director or musical director would like to hear something different.
  • Director Note: I’m fine with people singing selections from the show as their audition pieces if they wish! I wanna encourage you to sing something akin to RENT (Spring Awakening, American Idiot, etc.) so we can hear your voice in the same musical family range.
  • Please remember to sign up for a singing audition time slot by emailing volunteer@livearts.org.

CONFLICTS?

At auditions, you will be asked to write down your schedule and any known conflicts for the rehearsal and performance period. Please consult with your parents, if appropriate, and bring your calendars! (Once you have marked your conflicts, we expect you to stick to the times you have indicated that you are available — so please double check all vacations and work conflicts BEFORE your audition!)

TO RESERVE YOUR AUDITION TIME

Email the volunteer coordinator at volunteer@livearts.org and include for which character(s) you are coming to audition (unless you don’t care, in which case, let us know that too!)
For more information and/or to sign up for an audition time email volunteer@livearts.org