“Rent” Insights

Insights into “Rent” from the Dramaturgy Department.

Welcome to Our Family

By Heather Oberlander Dramaturg “(We) should reach out to each other and bond as a community, rather than hide from the terrors of life at the end of the millennium.”—Jonathan Larson Jonathan Larson, the creator of “Rent,” cared very deeply about individuals and about creating community. Although Larson tended to be on the quiet side and was known to be “bookish,” he also had an innate ability to connect with other people. As a waiter at New York City’s Moondance Diner, he would often entertain groups of friends and restaurant patrons. He was so well-liked that, during his...

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Spotlight on: Jonathan Larson

By Heather Oberlander Rent Dramaturg Jonathan Larson, the writer and composer of Rent, was born February 4, 1960, in White Plains, New York. He became interested in music at a very early age, playing the trumpet, tuba, and piano. Musically, he was influenced by individuals in the music world as well as the theater world. His favorites were Elton John, Billy Joel, and Stephen Sondheim. By high school, his love for music expanded to an interest in acting. After high school, Larson went to Adelphi University on a four-year acting scholarship. It was there he began to compose music, for...

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A Brief History of ‘Rent’

A Brief History of ‘Rent’

There is an interesting story in “Rent” that doesn’t appear on the stage. The story of its creation is just as interesting as anything that appears on stage.

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