April 05, 2011

CWRU Students Take on Major Broadway Hit

Rent logoPutting on one of the biggest Broadway shows of all time is a major undertaking for any theater troupe. Now, consider that the show in question, Rent, is being run completely by students from all majors who—in addition to running lines, staging scenes and building sets—have to keep up with classes, homework and other extra-curriculars, and you begin to see how massive a task it really is. But members of Case Footlighters aren’t complaining about the late-night rehearsals; instead, they’re focused on polishing the show to present the best product possible to the public. Rent will be performed April 7-9 at 8 p.m. and April 9 at 11:59 p.m. in Thwing Ballroom.

The show, directed by senior biology major Josh Lostroh, is a Tony Award-winning rock opera that tells the story of a group of struggling young artists and musicians in New York’s Lower East Side. And while it opened on Broadway 15 years ago, it remains a favorite among people of all ages—which is exactly why Lostroh and the Footlighters selected it. “It’s everyone’s favorite show for a number of reasons,” Lostroh said. “I love the show because it is filled with such powerful emotion. It deals with modern issues and genuine relationships. It reveals how influential love can be no matter what your sexuality.”

Additionally, Lostroh pointed out, the show honors the bohemian lifestyle, which stresses the importance of relationships and following your passion—an aspect many college students can relate to. This passion is evident in the members of Case Footlighters, as some of them have been putting in 10 hours of rehearsal every week since the start of the semester, with 24 hours per week the past two weeks, Lostroh said.

“The reason [putting on a large production] works is because everyone in the organization is so committed. Our success is built on the sweat, love and determination of the entire Footlighters crew,” which includes the actors, of course, but also the behind-the-scenes members, such as the tech, house and stage crews, publicity chair, costumer, videographer and vocal director.

Each individual brings his or her own skills and personalities to the show and work to make the characters and relationships in the show realistic. “My favorite memories are mostly rehearsals where we get a really powerful and complicated scene down,” Lostroh said. “It feels so real and I can tell the entire cast is touched emotionally.”

One such scene to watch out for? Goodbye Love, a long, expressive scene where characters face a range of emotions, Lostroh said. “The music is compelling and emotions are poignant. Seeing my cast work their way through the scene and develop the real emotions involved was inspiring.”

Tickets are available at tickets.case.edu ($5 for students, $10 for adults). For more information, visit footlighters.case.edu.

Posted by: Emily Mayock, April 5, 2011 08:37 AM | News Topics: Arts & Entertainment

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