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CCT holds auditions for 'Rent'

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 12:19 p.m. CST

DeKALB – CCT of DeKalb County, a not-for-profit community theater organization based in DeKalb, announces open auditions for the first production of its 2013 season of musicals.

Auditions for CCT’s Stage Right Theatre production of “Rent” will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 15 and 16, at the First United Methodist Church, 321 Oak St. in DeKalb. Those auditioning are required to be at least 15 years of age on the date of audition.

Love, poverty, drugs and homosexuality are some of the weighty topics addressed in the production.

“The story and the music of ‘Rent’ present challenges that we welcome artistically and educationally in this production,” director Kris Pagoria said. “Our Stage Right offering was designed to challenge older thespians with shows of a more mature content. We firmly believe that ‘Rent’ creates that opportunity.”

Set in New York City in the 1990s, roommates and starving artists Mark, a filmmaker, and Roger, a guitarist and singer, struggle to find subject matter and keep their apartment after Benny, an ex-roommate who is now their landlord, demands that they pay rent.

Mark finds inspiration in the relationships and struggles of his friends, Roger and Mimi, Angel and Tom, and Maureen and Joanne. The rock musical, based loosely on Puccini’s “La Boheme,” won four Tony awards and the Pulitzer Prize for drama after it opened in 1996. It ran on Broadway for 12 years and was made into a movie in 2005.

Those auditioning for “Rent” should prepare an a capella contemporary song of their choice and should expect to read from a selection of monologues.

Performers younger than 18 must have a signed parental/guardian consent form when they arrive.

A digital copy of the form can be downloaded by clicking on the “Rent” icon at www.CCTOnstage.com. Forms will also be available at auditions, if parents are accompanying their children. Teens younger than 18 who do not have a signed form will not be permitted to audition. 

Rehearsals for “Rent” will begin in late October. Performances are slated for January.

The push to stage “Rent” came from largely from the CCT board of directors, who realized that the content is not new or shocking to today’s generation of high school and college students.

“We’ve had individuals beg us to stage this show for some time,” Pagoria said.

“I think they desperately want to perform a piece with contemporary themes, an important message, and a rock music score; something more of their time than, say, ‘Oklahoma!’”

The response thas been mostly positive, although some have questioned the decision to produce such a musical. While some debate the merits of “Rent,” the board of directors and the production crew are focused on artistic matters.

“We all want to put on a really good, really meaningful show that welcomes actors of all kinds,” said Tracey Busby, past president of CCT.

“And from our best judgment, it’s really going to happen.”

‘Rent’ auditions

6:30-9 p.m. Oct. 15 and 16 First United  Methodist Church, 321 Oak St., DeKalb www.cctonstage.com

Performers must be at least 15 years old to audition. Performers younger than 18 must have a signed parental consent form to audition.

The show will be presented in January.

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