RENT ran for 12 years on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre. The theatre had a wall–just a basic wall–concrete and mortar, yellowing paint, faded and cracked from time and traffic. Nothing special. Until the actors and audiences of RENT transformed it into a canvas of expression.
As people came through, they would write on the wall–thank yous for the RENT experience; scribblings of love; remembrances of a lost friend; notes of inspiration and hope. The wall began to represent a community, a community of people from different cities, different countries, with different backgrounds, ages, experiences, ideas–all of whom came together through RENT.
The story of RENT itself is about a community coming together in compassion. I’ve always loved the show for that reason. And the wall. So, as we prepare to perform Jonathan Larson’s transformative musical in November, I thought it would be meaningful for our community to create our own RENT wall.
Our RENT wall is up and the cast and crew have started their individual contributions through sayings, drawings, wishes, names… We will also be touring the RENT wall around campus and in Oak Park/River Forest so that the community can express their thoughts, thanks, grief, love and hope as well.
If you see the wall, I welcome you to grab a pen and add to it, to join our community of compassion; and I hope you’ll join us for the show as well.
– Krista Hansen, Director