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SUBMITTED by Larry Ann Evans, Geneva Theatre Guild (2-Jul-2010)

For the 1st Time in the Finger Lakes: RENT comes to the Smith Opera House

The Geneva Theatre Guild is very proud to be the first theatre company in the Finger Lakes to perform one of Broadway’s longest running hit musicals... RENT. The summer production of RENT will be performed at the Smith Opera House July 15-17 at 8pm & July 18th at 2pm.

Rent is a Tony and Pulitzer prize-winning musical based upon Puccini’s opera La Boheme. It depicts the story of one year in the life of a group of young bohemian friends struggling to survive in the East Village of New York City. This group of beleaguered young artists and musicians contemplate the meaning of life, love and hope while dealing with issues of poverty, loss, drug addiction, and AIDS.

This powerful musical is headed up by a talented cast hailing from across the Finger Lakes and Rochester area and includes Mike Witter (Mark), Nick Faruch (Roger), Kyle Knapton (Collins), Sarah Mull (Mimi), Derrick Frenney (Angel), Chelsea Miller (Maureen), Sara Lawler (Joanne), Darius Greene (Benny). Ensemble cast members include: Kaleigh-Marie Fremouw, Abigail Adams, Sylvia Queener, Vinnie Loucks, Ben Raha, Justin Doyle and Jonathan Garcia. Rent is directed by Steve Duprey with Music Directors Bob Cowles and Deb Hodgeman and choreography by Caitlyn Schrader.

Knowing that the young cast needed to understand what their characters were going through in the early 90’s with the AIDS/HIV crisis, Producer Larry Ann Evans was put in contact with AIDS Care Geneva office and a meeting with Prevention Specialist Kristen Lanphear ensued. Lanphear suggested a presentation to the cast with Q& A afterwards. “The cast is just totally into this, they want to understand what was going down at that time, it’s just so different from how people view AIDS/HIV now,” said Evans.

The production of RENT also invited AIDS Care to have an information table set up in Smith Opera House lobby where patrons of RENT can find out more information about AIDS/HIV. The production of RENT will offer signed posters of the show for sale and the proceeds will go towards AIDS Care as will partial proceeds from the basket raffle.

After the presentation the cast was taken over to Ave. D where Peter Miller, the scenographer is building the sets for the show. The cast got their fist peak at the scaffolding that makes up the better part of the set.

RENT will be performed at the Smith Opera House, Seneca Street, Geneva on July 15, 16 & 17 at 8 pm and July 18 at 2:00pm. Tickets for RENT are $12 for adults, and $10 for students and seniors and can be purchased at the following locations in Geneva: The Smith Opera House, Area

Records, Don’t Own Flowers, and The UPS Store. In Seneca Falls: The Copy Shop. In Canandaigua: Rossi Music. In Rochester at the Bachelor Forum at 670 University Ave. and online at gtglive.org. A dinner and theatre package is available through the Ramda Pier House Restaurant by calling 789 5677.

Due to language and adult content, RENT is recommended for mature audiences.

The Geneva Theatre Guild is supported in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, which is administered locally by Phelps Arts. The Lyons National Bank is a sponsor of RENT.

Find more information about the Geneva Theatre Guild at the website www.gtglive.org.


Kyle Knapton (left) plays Collins with Derrick Frenney (rt) who plays Angel

Sarah Mull (in the forefront far left) who plays Mimi, Chelsea Miller (center with her back to us) who plays Maureen and Mike Witter (far right) who plays Mark

RENT lead actors: Sara Lawler (Joanne), Chelsea Miller (Maureen), Mike Witter (Mark), Darius Greene (squatting) (Benny), Nick Faruch (Roger), Sarah Mull (Mimi), Kyle Knapton (Collins), Derrick Frenney (Angel)

Darius Greene (Benny) (left), Sarah Mull (Mimi) & Nick Faruch (Roger) (right)


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