When I first heard that Luther College was possibly considering doing RENT, I was ecstatic! I couldn’t believe that one of my favorite shows was a possibility. My excitement quickly turned into terror. RENT is a very controversial show that demands a diverse cast. I began to worry about whether or not we would be able to provide that. I made sure to encourage the people of color that I knew to audition for the show. As the audition dates came closer and closer, I saw many people on the sign up sheet. I was relieved that many persons of color decided to audition. Once the cast list was up, I was pretty satisfied with the cast. One of the many admirable things about RENT is that racial diversity is a must. Many shows on Broadway don’t leave much room for people of color to be considered as a lead. But RENT validates people of color and allows them to play the roles that usually given to people who are white. RENT also has characters that are homosexual, which is rare in many Broadway shows. Many musicals and plays practice heteronormativity. RENT allows those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community to feel as though their sexuality can also be valued and appreciated. The inclusivity that RENT provides makes many people (including myself) feel loved and respected.
I am still in awe that I get to play Mimi. She has been my dream role for years! She is a young nightclub dancer who longs for comfort and safety but has a hard time finding what is right for her. I think what is most exciting about playing Mimi is that I see a little bit of her in myself. There have been many times where I think I know what is best for me but really don’t. I sometimes don’t know when it is best to find help and forget to utilize others when I am in need. Because of our similarities, playing Mimi is somewhat easy!
Having such an excellent cast has also made the role so much easier to play. I love the fact that I have gotten so close to so many amazing and talented individuals. Theater people are so inclusive and so vibrant. I love that I can be in a place where I am accepted for who I am. Being in RENT has provided a safe haven for me. It is reassuring to know that these friendships will last beyond our last show together. It is such an honor and and a joy to be a part of an amazing production. Again, make sure to buy your tickets for RENT and HURRY because we are close to being sold out!