SCHENECTADY — The south side of State Street is buzzing with youthful energy and promise as the MainStage at Proctors welcomes back audiences to its first performance since March 2020.
Nearly 50 students from over 20 school districts across the greater Capital District will be making history with a landmark production of RENT: School Edition. Twenty-nine students appear on stage as cast members, with another nine performing in the orchestra and nine students working on the production side. Several students hail from areas as distant as Utica and Newburgh and are staying locally to work with the School of Performing Arts at Proctors this summer.
Shaker High School graduate Scout Santoro, winner of the 2021 High School Musical Theatre Awards Best Actor and a Capital District representative at the National High School Musical Theatre (Jimmy) Awards, will play Roger in the production.
“We are thrilled to present the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning RENT,” said director Steve Yuhasz. “ It is so relevant of what is happening in the world today. The students are taking the material on with such a passion and commitment.”
Jonathan Larson’s rock musical RENT debuted on Broadway in 1996. Loosely based on Puccini’s 1896 opera La Bohème, the musical follows penniless artists living in New York’s Lower East Side as they navigate love, loss and the threat of HIV/AIDS. RENT closed in 2008 after one of the longest-ever Broadway runs and explores themes of finding one’s voice and living in the moment.
The school edition adaptation removes some profanity and omits a sexually charged number in Act 2.
The School of Performing Arts Broadway Camp will perform RENT on the Proctors MainStage on 7 P.M. Friday and 2 P.M. and 7 P.M. Saturday. Tickets are $15. For more information, visit proctors.org