CMSD Students to Present RENT, 5/30-6/1

CMSD Students to Present RENT, 5/30-6/1

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) will present its fifteenth annual All-City Musical, RENT to crown the District's 2013-14 series of All-City Arts Programming. The production features the talents of over fifty CMSD students from across the District and will take place on the stage of the Ohio Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, May 30 - June 1, 2014. Tony Sias, Director of Arts Education for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, co-directs the production with the CMSD All-City Arts Program's Managing Director, Kimberly Brown.

Rent's book, music and lyrics were created by Jonathan Larson. Musical supervision and additional arrangements were contributed by Tim Weil with musical arrangements by Steve Skinner. Billy Aronson conceived the initial concept and provided additional lyrics. The dramaturg for the Broadway production was Lynn Thompson. Rent was originally produced in New York by New York Theatre Workshop and on Broadway by Jeffery Seller, Kevin McCollum, Allan S. Gordon and New York Theatre Workshop. The CMSD All-City Musical production is produced through special arrangement with Music Theater International (www.mtishows.com) which also adapted and licensed the School Edition that will be performed.

The fifteenth annual All-City Musical is presented with generous support from The Abington Foundation, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, The George Gund Foundation, The Human Fund and Kaiser Permanente. Community partners include the Cleveland AIDS Task Force, the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority and Cuyahoga Community College.

The All-City Musical is an enriching experience for the students involved in the production, according to Sias, who has served as the director of the All-City Musical for twelve consecutive years." The All-City Musical is an extraordinary program that provides students with a structured arts-based experience that refines individual talents, stimulates critical thinking, focuses creativity, strengthens social skills and affords students an informed perspective on the world," said Sias in a recent interview about the upcoming production. "These young people are amazing."

Set in New York City, Rent is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Rent is a pop culture phenomenon with songs that rock and a story that resonates for audiences of all ages. Based on Puccini's La Boheme, Rent follows a year in the life of a group of young artists struggling to survive and createin the shadow of HIV/AIDS during the 1990s. How these bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves and conflicts provides a compelling narrative for a groundbreaking musical that reverberates, louder than ever, two decades after its debut.

The production team for the fifteenth annual All-City Musical is a distinguished group of professional artists from across northeast Ohio. Dr. David Thomas will serve as Musical Director for the production. Kevin Marr II and Jessica Spurlock will co-create Rent's choreography. Terry Martin will serve as scenic designer while Inda Blatch-Geib will design costumes for the production. Colleen Dowling will design lights.

Opening Night for the fifteenth annual All-City Musical Rent is scheduled for Friday, May 30th at 7:30 p.m. The production will continue with a Saturday evening showing on May 31st at 7:30 p.m. and a closing matinee performance on Sunday, June 1st at 3:00 p.m.

All tickets for the fifteenth annual All-City Musical, Rent are $15 and are available by phone at (216) 241-6000, online at www.playhousesquare.org or by visiting the PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office. All seating is general admission.

The primary goal of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District is to become a premier school district in the United States of America. The Cleveland Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, orientation, age, religion or disability.

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