DUPAC’s Performance of RENT

As a wild enthusiast of theatre and the arts, I was ecstatic when I heard that DUPAC (Dominican University’s Performing Arts Center) was putting on their own production of RENT. My roommate auditioned and became a member of the cast, so it was was all I heard about for the last three months. It only intensified my excitement. Having just watched the movie version this past summer, the show was still vivid in my mind, the plot, the songs, the characters and their struggles. I was excited  to see my roommate and the entirety of the cast putting all their hard work together in the form of such a compelling show.

When I initially found out that Dominican University was putting on their own production of RENT, I’ll admit, I was utterly shocked. A show about the struggles and lives of gay people in the late 1990’s,  was not the first show that I thought would be put on by a Catholic university. I was elated that I had chosen a school that was so open-minded and accepting of other lifestyles, beliefs and people. I was proud of myself for choosing a place where differing beliefs could come together and put on such a controversial show. As a new member of Dominican University’s Common Ground (our Gay-Straight Alliance), I was moved by the sense of acceptance that Dominican and everyone responsible for putting on RENT, had. The idea that a Catholic university could put on a show about the struggles of living as gay, homeless, group of impoverished young artists and musicians  --a disenfranchised group--was utterly amazing to me.

So as I sat in the fourth row of the Lund auditorium, holding my ticket and waiting patiently for the house lights to dim into nothing, my excitement was through the roof. Looking at the set, I could imagine each character and their own storyline; I could see what was about to unfold on stage. Even more so, I was excited for everyone around me, the audience members whom had never seen RENT or were not familiar with the mission of the show, or the difference it was trying to make. It was as if the stage curtain was holding back a massive amount of love and acceptance, I just wanted it to spill out to the audience.

In the end, the show was everything I expected to be. The hard work that was invested in every member of the cast’s heart was visible on stage, and I did not doubt the commitment of any member on stage. Solos were sung, and dance numbers flawlessly executed, tears were shed, and a boisterous standing ovation was given at curtain call. If you did not manage to snag a ticket during opening weekend, I strongly suggest that you get a ticket for the 16th or 17th, because there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re after a musical with a mission, a long lasting message, acting that will make you both laugh and cry, or want to scope out all the talent that Dominican has to offer, you’ll find every single one of those things in DUPAC’s RENT. Don’t forget to bring a few extra dollars to donate to Vital Bridges, a foundation that helps low income people living with HIV/AIDS. Theatre and a good cause, what’s better than that?

1990’s, Catholic, Dominican University, DUPAC, Lund auditorium, RENT, Vital Bridges