Classic musical 'Rent' to bring 20th anniversary tour to Eisenhower Nov. 19

October 21, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway and forever changed the landscape of American theater. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s “Rent” continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and across the world. The Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

A re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” “Rent” follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters — love.

Visit the Center for the Performing Arts online or call 814-863-0255 for more information.

Watch the cast perform “Seasons of Love.”

Read a Center for the Performing Arts interview with Penn State alumna Maggie Swahl, assistant company manager for the “Rent” tour.

“Rent” premiered off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop Feb. 13, 1996, to ecstatic reviews and transferred to Broadway on April 29, 1996. The show won the 1996 Tony for Best Musical, as well as the Pulitzer for Drama. It’s one of only five musicals to win both awards.

Based on the original direction by Michael Greif (Tony and Drama Desk nominations for “Rent”), Evan Ensign restages this 20th anniversary tour.

Original Broadway creatives Marlies Yearby (choreography), Angela Wendt (costume design) and Tim Weil (music supervision and additional arrangements) are joined by Jonathan Spencer (lighting design), Keith Caggiano (sound design), MiRi Park (associate choreographer) and Matthew E. Maraffi (adapting original scenic design by Paul Clay) to make up the creative team for the tour. The tour was cast by Joy Dewing Casting with additional casting by Wojcik | Seay Casting.

The “Rent” 20th anniversary tour is produced by Work Light Productions, whose other touring productions include the 2016 Olivier Award-winning production of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas,” “Bandstand” and the upcoming tour of the Tony-winning musical “Ain’t Too Proud.”

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist or artists, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Audio description, which is especially helpful to patrons with sight loss, is available for this performance at no extra charge to ticket holders. Reservations for audio description are required by Tuesday, Nov. 5. Phone 814-238-0132 to reserve the service.

Find the Center for the Performing Arts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

  • A woman holds a man in her arms as he kicks up one leg.

    (L to R) Cody Jenkins, Samantha Mbolekwa

    IMAGE: RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Amy Boyle 2019

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 21, 2019