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Coeurage Ensemble to Present RENT as First Post-Lockdown Live Production

Cast, design team, exact dates, and performance schedule will be announced soon.

Coeurage Ensemble to Present RENT as First Post-Lockdown Live Production

Coeurage Ensemble, LA's Pay What You Want performance company, has announced its first in person production since Under Milk Wood during the summer of 2019 - Jonathan Larson's ​Rent. This is also the first production under the leadership of new artistic director Amanda McRaven; it will be directed by Reena Dutt with ensemble member and Ovation Award-winner Gregory Nabours serving as musical director. Tasheena Medina will choreograph. Set for November and December of this year, the show will be presented at Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, 1238 W. 1st Street in LA, 90026. Cast, design team, exact dates, and performance schedule will be announced soon.

Said McRaven, "Coming back from the pandemic, it feels right to produce a musical - to bring audiences together in a space that is familiar, nostalgic, celebratory, and allows room for a good cry. I do believe this can be both a story of right now and of where we've been. As an ensemble, we want to mine all the possibilities in the script and show them to audiences for the first time. Coeurage loves telling big stories in intimate rooms, and I am so excited to see the immersive, expansive world Reena will create."

Director Reena Dutt is a 2021-2022 Drama League (NY) Directing Fellow and a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab (NYC), and Directors Lab West (LA). During the 2022-23 season, she will be directing at Artists Repertory (Portland, OR), Constellation Screen and Stage (Bloomington, IN), UC Riverside, and Artists at Play (LA). Other LA credits include Defenders (2019) and Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine's (2020). She was assistant director for Candis Jones on Cullud Wattah (The Public Theater), for Jo Bonney on The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona (Geffen Playhouse), and for Jennifer Chang on Hannah and the Dread Gazebo (Fountain Theatre). She has directed staged readings and productions at A Noise Within, the Road Theatre, and Sacred Fools. She also directs for film and TV and has numerous producing credits on films that have screened at Sundance, LA Film Festival, Outfest, Frameline, and Whistler, among others.

Loosely based on Puccini's La Bohème, Jonathan Larson's Rent follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. The physical and emotional complications of the disease pervade the lives of Roger, Mimi, Tom, and Angel. Maureen deals with her chronic infidelity through performance art while her partner, Joanne, wonders if their relationship is worth the trouble. Benny has sold out his Bohemian ideals in exchange for a hefty income and is on the outs with his former friends. Mark, an aspiring filmmaker, feels like an outsider to life in general. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves, and conflicts provides the narrative thread to this groundbreaking musical.

Rent began its life as a workshop production at New York Theatre Workshop in 1993. A full production opened there in early 1996 and moved to the Nederlander Theatre on Broadway, opening April 29, 1996. It was nominated for 10 Tony Awards and won four, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score. Rent also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It ran on Broadway for 12 years and a whopping 5,123 performances, closing on September 7, 2008.

For more info, visit www.coeurage.org.




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