Thursday, Mar 14, 2024


TISCH DRAMA STAGE is proud to present Jonathan Larson’s Rent as its inaugural production in the new Iris Cantor Theater. Directed by Orion S. Johnstone Rent will run April 26 – May 4.

Opening on Broadway in 1996, Rent went on to win multiple awards, including the Tony for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize. The musical tells the stories of Queer artists bravely reckoning together with how to make meaning and care for each other in defiance of the systemic violence that impacts them. With ferociously heart-centered resonance and a ‘90s grunge rock score, Rent invites all of us to risk everything for what we know is right and, most of all, to measure our lives in love.

Rent, at its core, is an invitation to love in ways that are actively disruptive and defiant to comfortable patterns of privilege and to the systems of dominance that thrive on disconnecting us from our wholeness,” said the director, Orion S. Johnstone. “Our production is more of an ensemble piece than any other version I've encountered: linking the individual to the collective at every opportunity and rooting deeply in the direct action and community care aspects of the story: the peak of the AIDS crisis, the squatters rights movement, the Tompkins Square Riot, etc. I am deeply moved and honored and giddy to get to co-create this vision along with this immense and immensely brilliant team!”

Tomi Tsunoda, Drama Chair added: “We’re very proud to have this production of Rent in our season, under the stewardship and vision of Orion Johnstone. Orion’s deep history in both musical theater and movement organizing grounds this iconic material in way that gives it new levels of life and meaning, decades after it first sprung onto New York stages. I can’t think of a better way to inaugurate our new shared home at the Iris Cantor Theater.”