Rent, the gritty rock musical that played on Broadway for twelve years was this year’s winter musical production at Brearley. It is based on Puccini’s La Boheme and tells the story of struggling artists and musicians on the Lower East Side during the AIDS epidemic.
The Drama Department’s Tim Brownell, who directed, says that he chose Rent because it’s “ground-breaking, important and immediate and a challenge to the students.” Before presenting the musical, the Drama department held an assembly to provide students with historical background on the show. The assembly featured a guest speaker from Love Heals, an organization dedicated to empowering young people in the fight against HIV. The speaker shared his story of living with HIV, experiencing the East Village of NYC in the early 1990s and how his community was affected by the AIDS epidemic. He is an AIDS awareness educator specifically trained to talk to younger students of the middle school age.
Following the assembly, the cast and crew of Rent voted to raise money at their performances on behalf of the organization. They made a speech while singing "Seasons of Love" during the curtain call, sold show posters and handed out red ribbons, and within three days raised $1098.00 in support of Love Heals' work.