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
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