June 18, 2019

Everything is “Rent” 

All photos are courtesy of Dr. Andy Morris. (Collage by Andrew Barren’22)

On Thursday, April 11 to Saturday, the 13th, the Schoedinger Theater was packed with audiences, who came to see Academy’s musical, Rent. On Saturday night alone, only 30 tickets were left at 5 pm.

Instead of playing a sound track through speakers, director Mr. Stefan Farrenkopf chose to use live music. The musical’s stage crew, under the direction of Mr. Scott Dillon built a multi-level set to include a space for the group underneath one of the levels. Choir teacher Mrs. Brooks directed the music, and math teacher Mr. Bolognese played bass guitar while sophomore Divya Narayanan played second guitar. Jenni Kristoff, accompanist in Academy’s Performing Arts, played keyboard.

One of the ensembles in Rent is called the support group: people living with AIDS who come together to talk about their experiences at the local community center. Jonathan Larson, composer and playwright of Rent, named the characters in the support group after friends of his who had died of AIDS. He also encouraged different productions of the show to change these names to honor those in their lives who had been affected by AIDS. Senior Marcus Grewal’s character’s name was changed to Michael in memory of costume designer Donna Williamson’s brother, who passed away from AIDS in 1995.

Columbus Academy’s Rent was a smash onstage and even off stage, with hugs and tears of congratulations from our students and other audience members to the cast and crew in the theatre lobby after the show. As one of Rent’s most famous lyrics says: “measure your life in love,” these three evenings were so full of love among everyone involved that this production will be remembered for years to come.


Roger Davis: Kyle Channell

Mark Cohen: Evan Farrenkopf

Tom Collins: Max Brown

Benjamin Coffin III: Liam McCann

Angel Dumott Schunard: Jack Wimsatt

Joanne Jefferson: Mira Bhasin

Maureen Johnson: Sidney Edson

Mimi Marquez: Aylah Mendenhall

Alexi Darling: Maddie McAfee

Evelyn Aebi

Claire Budzik

Alyssa Batchelor

Caroline Bloomfield

Zora Brown

Abigail Fisher

William Galbreath

Marcus Grewal

Rosie Gruber

Maddie Kazatsky

CJ Leet

Lauren Motta

Madelyn Proctor

Olivia Pierre-Louis

Cole Raiken

Tsega Seleshi

Donovan Simpson

Lindsay Sutherland

Jay Whitney

Director: Stefan Farrenkopf


Assistant to the director: Bobby Diller

Stage manager: Katie Anderson

Lights and video: Katie Anderson

Sound: Nikki Turley

Prop master: Sidney Edson

Makeup assistant: CJ Leet

Dance captains: Claire Budzik and Jack Wimsatt

Stage crew: Leah Pierre-Louis

Video production: Ryan Milbourne


Conductor: Mrs. Brooks

Second keyboard: Mrs. Brooks

Keyboard- Mrs. Kristoff

Guitar- Zakk Jones

Second guitar- Divya Narayanan

Bass: Mr. Bolognese

Drums: Emil Miller