RENT Character Descriptions
Set in the East Village of New York City, RENT SCHOOL EDITION is about falling in love, finding your voice and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, it has become a pop cultural phenomenon with songs that rock and a story that resonates with audiences of all ages.
Based loosely on Puccini's La Boheme, RENT SCHOOL EDITION follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. The physical and emotional complications of the disease pervade the lives of Roger, Mimi, Tom, and Angel. Maureen deals with her chronic infidelity through performance art; her partner, Joanne, wonders if their relationship is worth the trouble. Benny has sold out his Bohemian ideals in exchange for a hefty income and is on the outs with his former friends. Mark, an aspiring filmmaker, feels like an outsider to life in general. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves, and conflicts provides the narrative thread to this groundbreaking musical.
ROGER DAVIS: A struggling musician and former drug addict. He is reminiscent of Kurt Cobain. Roommates with Mark in the loft and battles with being HIV-positive. Tenor.
MARK COHEN: Filmmaker and video artist. Knee deep in his own soul-searching, Mark is the typical young artist. He and Roger are roommates in the loft. A bit of a nerd. Tenor.
MIMI MARQUEZ: An HIV-positive go-go dancer with drug addictions. She conceals it all at her job in the local club. She lives in the same building as the loft. Mezzo-soprano.
ANGEL DUMOTT SCHUNARD: eccentric HIV-positive street drummer. A drag queen with an incredible gift of dance and a magnetic personality. He becomes Tom's lover. Tenor.
MAUREEN JOHNSON: An unpredictably zany performance artist. Maureen oozes sexuality and used to live in the loft. She has recently dumped Mark for Joanne. Mezzo-soprano.
JOANNE JEFFERSON: a public interest lawyer and headstrong lesbian. She is smart and purposeful in all her decisions. Carries on a tumultuous relationship with Maureen. Mezzo-soprano.
TOM COLLINS: A computer genius and liberal professor. He is a nurturer with a smooth and relaxed disposition. Used to be a roommate in the loft and is HIV-positive. Baritone.
BENJAMIN COFFIN III: landlord of Mark and Roger's apartment building. A former roommate in the loft, Benny traded in his personal morals for power and wealth. Baritone.
FEATURED ENSEMBLE ROLES: (vocal parts varied)
SUPPORT GROUP:PAUL STEVE GORDON PAM ALI SUE
SOPRANO SOLOIST (Seasons of Love-needs to sing a high C)
FEATURED SOLOISTS SEASONS OF LOVE
"LEAP OF FAITH" BACKUPS