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Book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson

Eight friends, one extraordinary year

UM is one of the first companies to present this theatrical phenomenon


Department of Musical Theatre

Mendelssohn Theatre

All Performances are SOLD OUT. For sold out performances a wait list will start 60 minutes before the performance in person at the Mendelssohn Theatre for any returned tickets.

Thursday, October 16 at 7:30 PM
Friday, October 17 at 8 PM
Saturday, October 18 at 8 PM
Sunday, October 19 at 2 PM
Thursday, October 23 at 7:30 PM
Friday, October 24 at 8 PM
Saturday, October 25 at 8 PM
Sunday, October 26 at 2 PM


The Story: Set in a bohemian community of artists in New York City’s East Village during the 1990s, Rent follows eight impoverished young artists and lovers struggling to survive and create under the new specter of AIDS. They embrace their uncertain futures, facing each day with enthusiasm and humor, living life to the fullest as if there were “no day but today.” Rent features an inventive score that combines a rock sound with intricate choral work and dexterous lyrics that shine in songs such as the poignant “One Song Glory,” “Seasons of Love,” and the exuberant “La Vie Bohème.” Ben Brantley of the New York Times declared Rent “an exhilarating, landmark rock opera…[that] shimmers with hope for the future of the American musical.”

Artistic Significance: Thirty-five-year-old composer Jonathan Larson spent seven years perfecting his show that would “bring musical theatre to the MTV generation.” From its beginning at the New York Theatre Workshop through its move to Broadway, Larson’s contemporary version of Puccini’s La Bohème was embraced with an immediate critical and popular frenzy far beyond the normal Broadway success story. Rent swept the 1996 musical awards for both Off-Broadway and Broadway productions and earned Larson the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Drama, only the seventh musical to do so in the award’s 90-year history. Tragically Larson died unexpectedly of an aortic aneurism on the eve of the show’s first public performance at the NYTW, never to know that his dream had been realized. As part of its 25th Anniversary season, the Department of Musical Theatre is thrilled to be one of the first regional companies to produce this theatrical phenomenon.

Contains adult language and situations, recommended for ages 14 and up.


Mark Ayesh (Wichita, KS), Ashley Blanchet (New Rochelle, NY),
Amanda Choate (Brunswick, ME), Brant Cox (Kirkland, IL),
Robert Hartwell (Raleigh, NC), Kevin Hegmann (Lindenhurst, NY),
Erik Heitz (Kirkwood, MO), Bryan Langlitz (Marlton, NJ),
Nathan Lehmann (Madison, WI), Katie Madison (Traverse City, MI),
Nora Menken (North Salem, NY), Kevin Munhall (Wichita, KS),
Julia Myer (North Ridgeville, OH), Desi Oakley (Wichita, KS),
Kent Overshown (Oakland, CA), Mary Michael Patterson (Aledo, TX),
Alex Puette (Aurora, OH), Corbin Reid (Minneapolis, MN),
Jose Angel Sepulveda (Puerto Rico), Cary Tedder (Marietta, GA)

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Director Mark Madama
Music Director Cynthia Kortman Westphal
Scenic Designer Arthur Ridley
Costume Designer Christianne Myers
Lighting Designer Stephanie Shechter
Stage Manager Angela Kiessel

Production Photos

Click here to view photos from Rent


Click here to view the Rent program


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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower