The directors of Burton and Garran Hall’s musical Rent say they wanted the involvement of as many students as possible in creating the large performance.
Following six months of planning and the involvement of almost 100 students in various roles including set design, construction, casting and crew, the musical will open at the ANU Arts Centre on 13 August.
The musical’s directors, Caitlin Overton and Toby Moffatt say they wanted to find a musical that would include as many students as possible.
“It’s about a group of pretty eclectic artists and Bohemians living in Alphabet City in New York in the early 1990s. So we had musicians we could bring on board, arts students, English students and writers – a huge array of people that were interested,” says Caitlin, who is studying Arts/Law.
The musical storyline centres around two main characters, Mark and Roger, who are living together in a loft. Mark is trying to make his own films while Roger is working to create one great song to leave behind as his legacy.
Caitlin says the storyline is something that students can relate to.
“You’ve got a whole heap of students here at Burton and Garran Hall living in each other’s pockets, loving every minute of it, as this one big crazy eclectic family,” she says.
“And we’re at that point in our lives where we’re wanting to make something new. We’re all at that point of going through our degrees, and trying to work out what we want to do with our lives.
“I definitely think a lot of students here really do connect with that tipping point – the whole idea of what you’re going to leave behind and what you’re going to create out of nothing which is very much what Rent is about.”
Co-director, Toby, who is also Burton and Garran Hall Community Coordinator, says the students have a strong connection to the musical.
“We even had one student who was due to finish her exchange here at Semester 1 and was so keen to be involved, that she liaised with her university and was able to have her stay extended for the second semester. She’s in a lead role,” Toby says.
Rent the Musical will be performed in four shows, from 13 to 16 August, at ANU Arts Centre commencing at 7.30pm.
Tickets are $15 for students and $20 for adults.