New Rep Opens Its 28th Season With RENT, Opens 9/6


New Repertory Theatre, in residence at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, is thrilled to begin its 2011-2012 Season with Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical RENT. Due to the Labor Day holiday falling on a Monday, RENT will open for the press on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 7:30pm and run through Sunday, September 25, 2011 at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in the Charles Mosesian Theater.

"RENT is the ideal production to open our 2011-2012 Season, which has the theme of legacy." says Harriet Sheets, Managing Director of New Repertory Theatre.

Ms. Sheets continues, "15 years after its Broadway premiere, RENT is just as powerful. It transcends multiple generations, as its overarching message of love and friendship is timeless. I am proud New Rep is the first professional regional theatre in New England to produce RENT."

Benjamin Evett, the director of RENT, adds, "I am excited to be working with such a wonderful, talented artistic and design team."

Mr. Evett adds, "RENT is a powerful evocation of a defining cultural moment in America-the end of the last millennium. Jonathan Larson brought ‘musical theatre to the MTV generation' by addressing relevant social topics of the times, topics that are still relevant today, by the way, and by combining the various mediums of video, music, and theatre. He created extraordinary characters that young people can really relate to, then and now. It's their journey, from naïve self-absorption to an appreciation of the real value of life and family, where I want to focus our energy. I want to create a world that is rough, exciting, chaotic, and inspirational for the characters living in it, and hopefully for the audience, too."

RENT features New Rep favorites Aimee Doherty (The World Goes ‘Round, The Last Five Years, Darling Divas Deck the Holidays,
Hot Mikado, Speed-the-Plow, tick, tick,...BOOM!, The Wild Party, and Into the Woods) as Maureen, Eve Kagan (Passing Strange) as Mimi, and Maurice E. Parent (Passing Strange, Cabaret, The Wild Party, and Ragtime) as Tom Collins.
Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of a group of struggling bohemian artists living in New York City's Lower East Side. This ground-breaking and powerful rock opera, based on Puccini's La Boheme, explores the necessity of love and friendship, and the repercussions of living with AIDS in modern day society. Fall in love with this timeless musical all over again with iconic songs like "La Vie Boheme," "What You Own," and "Seasons of Love."

New Repertory Theatre presents provocative and intelligent works of both established and emerging playwrights in an intimate setting that involves and engages the audience. New Rep has earned a reputation for Dynamic Productions that honor the writers and feature talented professional actors from the New England Theatre community as well as guest artists from around the U.S. New Rep has received Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards for outstanding acting, scenic design, directions, and production. Programming for New Repertory Theatre is supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.


John Ambrosino (Mark) Las Vegas: Jersey Boys (Bob Crewe, Billy Dixon and Others). 1st National Tour: The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley (Flat Stanley). Regional: Pageant (Miss Deep South), The Wild Party (Oscar D'Armano), I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change! (Man #1), David the Musical (Young David).

Aimee Doherty (Maureen) is excited to be in her second Jonathan Larson musical at New Rep, having previously appeared as Susan in tick, tick...BOOM! in 2007. Other New Rep credits include: The World Goes ‘Round (Woman 3), The Last Five Years (Cathy), Hot Mikado (Pitti-Sing), Speed-the-Plow (Karen), Cabaret (Sally Bowles), The Wild Party (ensemble/Queenie u/s), Ragtime (Evelyn Nesbit), Into the Woods (Cinderella) and Darling Divas Deck the Holidays. Other Boston area credits include: Animal Crackers (Mrs. Whitehead/Arabella), Grey Gardens (Young Edie), Follies (Young Phyllis), See What I Wanna See (Kesa/the wife/an actress) and Adrift in Macao (Lureena) with the Lyric Stage Company of Boston; Annie (Grace) and Honk! (Ida) with Wheelock Family Theatre; The Pain and the Itch (Kelly) with Company One; Nine (Luisa), The Women (Peggy), Bubbly Black Girl... (Scarlet) and Company (Kathy) with SpeakEasy Stage; On the 20th Century (Anita) with Overture Productions; Dinosaur Musical (Mindy) with Stoneham. Aimee has received IRNE acting nominations for her work in Cabaret, Speed-the-Plow, The Pain and the Itch and Grey Gardens. In addition to acting, Aimee is a freelance environmental consultant with Doherty Environmental Consulting.

Eve Kagan (Mimi) is thrilled to be back at New Rep! Eve closed last season in Passing Strange and played Hester Prynne in the fall touring production of The Scarlet Letter. Eve received an Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard and currently works as an actress and theatre teaching artist. Boston theatre credits include leading roles in Sunfish, How Many Miles to Basra, The Cutting, Gypsy, Around the World in 80 Days (Stoneham Theatre); Talking to Terrorists (Súgán Theatre Co., IRNE nomination for Best Supporting Actress and Best Ensemble); The Scarlet Letter, The Miracle Worker (Foothills Theatre). Theatre credits from L.A., NYC, Wesleyan University, and LAMDA include leading roles in Equus, The House of Yes, The Little Foxes, The Sisters Rosensweig, Women and Wallace, and Twelfth Night. Eve appeared in the film The Notebook, and several television series including: Alias, The L Word, The Parkers, and Columbo Likes the Nightlife with the late great Peter Falk.

Robin Long (Joanne) After recently relocating to the Boston area, Robin is delighted to be making her debut at New Rep. Other regional roles include: Sour Kangaroo in Seussical the Musical, and Susan in The Full Monty at the Marriott Theatre, Chicago; Brenda in Smokey Joe's Cafe at The Skylight Opera, Milwaukee; Ronnette in Little Shop of Horrors, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center; Susannah in Tintypes, Old School House Theater; Florence in Why Do Fools Fall in Love at The Milwaukee Rep; and Barbara Demarco in the Chicago, Buffalo, Laguna Beach, and most recently Boston productions of Shear Madness. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from the University of Tampa.

Maurice E. Parent (Tom Collins) Maurice is overjoyed to return to the New Rep stage with RENT and to get to play one of his dream roles. Previous shows at New Rep include: Passing Strange (Mr. Franklin et al), Ragtime (Coalhouse Walker Jr. - IRNE Nom), and Cabaret. Other Boston credits include: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Puck), Coriolanus (Junius Brutus), King John (Lewis the Dauphin) with Actors' Shakespeare Project, and Man of La Mancha (Dr. Carrasco/The Duke, Lyric Stage Company). Maurice is the proud recipient of the 2008 Elliot Norton Award for performances in Some Men (Angel Eyes et al, SpeakEasy Stage Company), Angels in America (Belize/Mr. Lies, Boston Theatre Works) and The Wild Party (Black, New Rep) Other Credits include The Rink starring Leslie Uggams and Janet Metz (Buddy et al, Cape Playhouse) The Good War (York Theatre, dir. David H. Bell and Craig Carnelia) and Hair (Barrington Stage).

Robert St. Laurence (Roger) is thrilled to make his debut with New Rep, having recently graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Psychology and Theater Arts. Regional Theatre: The Huntington Theatre's The Steward of Christendom (Willie Dunne), Dead End (Philip Griswald); Emerson Stage's The Little Prince (The Little Prince); Wheelock Family Theatre's Once Upon a Mattress, The Jungle Book; North Shore Music Theatre's Carousel. Brandeis Theatre: Brandeis Theater Company's Sunday in the Park with George (Georges Seurat), Dog Sees God (Matt), Saturday Night (Gene Gorman); Undergraduate Theatre's The Last Five Years (Jamie), City of Angels (Stone). Robert can be seen performing with Boston Musical Theater in their upcoming fall show. When off the stage, Robert teaches drama at Milton Academy, where he was learning and performing not too long ago.

Nick Sulfaro (Angel) is ecstatic to be making his New Rep debut! Most recently, he was seen in The Muse, a final 40 selection for the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival (Lion Theatre, NYC). Boston credits include: the title role in Bat Boy (Metro Stage) and Sitting Still, a radio play by Masha Obolesky for the Emerging America Festival (Huntington). Nick holds a BFA from Emerson College. Favorite Emerson credits: The Actor's Nightmare (George), bare: a pop opera (Peter), and Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick).

Jonathan Larson (book, music, and lyrics) received the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for RENT. He also won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical and the 1994 Richard Rodgers Award for RENT and twice received The Gilman & Gonzales-Falla Theatre Foundation's Comendation Award. In 1989 he was granted the Stephen Sondheim Award from American Music Theatre Festival, where he contributed to the musical Sitting on The Edge of the Future. In 1988 he won the Richard Rodgers Development Grant for his rock musical Superbia, which was staged at Playwrights Horizon. He composed the score for the musical J.P. Morgan Saves the Nation, which was presented by En Garde Arts in 1995. Mr. Larson performed his rock monologue tick, tick... BOOM! at Second Stage Theatre, The Village Gate and New York Theatre Workshop. In addition to scoring and song writing for Sesame Street, he created music for a number for children's book-cassettes, including Steven Spielberg's An American Tail and Land Before Time. Other film scores include work for Rolling Stones magazine publisher Jann Wenner. He conceived, directed and wrote four original songs for Away We Go!, a musical video for children. RENT, his rock opera based on La Boheme, had its world premiere on February 13, 1996 at New York Theatre Workshop. Mr. Larson died unexpectedly of an aortic aneurysm on January 25, 1996, ten days before his 36th birthday.

Benjamin Evett (director) is the Founding Artistic Director of the Actors' Shakespeare Project, where he directed A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, King John, Love's Labour's Lost, All's Well That Ends Well, and Richard III. At New Rep, he directed A Christmas Carol for New Rep On Tour. He has directed for Boston Conservatory's Opera Scenes program, and for The American Repertory Theatre Institute. He also is the producer, co-author and director for Blood Rose Rising, an original serial drama that had its inaugural production this past spring. As an actor at New Rep, he has been seen as Danny in Cherry Docs, Dorian in Opus, the Salesman in Indulgences, Paul Barrow in Permanent Collection, Abbe de Coulmier in Quills, Bob Cratchit in Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol, Stephen in A Girl's War, and Will in Jerusalem. At the Actors' Shakespeare Project, he played Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, the title role in Coriolanus, Caliban in The Tempest, the title role in Hamlet, Edmund in King Lear, and Cassius in Julius Caesar. He was a member of the Resident Acting Company at The American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge from 1983 to 2003, acting in more than 50 productions including Waiting for Godot, The Bacchae, Phaedra, Ivanov, The King Stag and Six Characters in Search of an Author. He has also performed at the Huntington Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Hartford Stage Company, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Cleveland Play House and others. He has performed at the Festivale Biennale in Venice, the Festival d'Automne in Paris, at the Taiwan National Theatre and The Moscow Art Theatre.

Todd C. Gordon (musical direction) Having served as Music Director for The World Goes ‘Round, Passing Strange, The Last Five Years, Darling Divas Deck the Holidays, Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas, Hot Mikado, Cabaret (IRNE Nominee, Best Music Director), Gutenberg! The Musical, Dessa Rose, Side by Side by Sondheim, Lippa's The Wild Party (IRNE Nominee, Best Music Director), Ragtime (IRNE Award, Best Music Director), Into the Woods (IRNE Award, Best Music Director), The Threepenny Opera (IRNE Nominee, Best Music Director), and musical supervision for According to Tip, Todd is thrilled to be working on New Rep's RENT. He was seen as the onstage pianist for New Rep's Bill W. and Dr. Bob and has worked in the New England area on productions for the Lyric Stage Company, Publick Theatre, Gloucester Stage, Charles Playhouse/Second Stage, Stoneham Theatre, Brandeis Theatre Company, and Emerson Stage.

Kelli Edwards (choreography) returns to New Rep after choreographing Passing Strange, DollHouse, Hot Mikado (IRNE Winner - Best Choreography), Cabaret and The Wild Party (IRNE Nomination - Best Choreography), Ragtime, Romeo and Juliet, Into the Woods, Scapin, and The Threepenny Opera (IRNE Nomination). Other credits in choreography and movement direction include: Actors' Shakespeare Project (Love's Labour's Lost); A.R.T. (A Marvelous Party, In the Jungle of Cities, The King Stag, and The Taming of the Shrew); Stoneham Theatre (Gypsy); and the Huntington (How Shakespeare Won the West, The Cherry Orchard with Kate Burton, and Springtime for Henry). Her work has also been presented at the ICA (Boston), Green Street Studios, Dance Complex, Peabody House Theatre, Marblehead Festival of the Arts, Smith College, Amherst College, City in Motion (Kansas City), and in Portland, ME. She is currently on the performing arts faculty at Milton Academy.

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