Curtains up on RENT on December 1

POSTED: 11/23/11 6:53 AM

St. Maarten – Preparations are well underway for St. Maarten’s staging of Rent – a Pulitzer and Tony Award winning stage production conceptualized and produced by Jonathon Larson that tells the story of Bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggling with life, love and AIDS, and the impact on their lives. The play also hit the silver screen in 2005 as a full length feature film. Rehearsals are ongoing and tickets are already available for the four day run, which begins with a gala premiere on December 1. Tickets for the gala cost $50 and tickets for the regular performances cost $25. All performances will be at the Philipsburg Community and Cultural Center.

The production of Rent is collaboration between the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS Programme Management Team for HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS Programme Manager Suzette Moses-Burton and Dirkjan Jansen and Joost de Jong are leading the creative team behind the performance.
“We want to continue to deliver the message to our community in a way that touches people’s lives and cultural performances have proven to be a way to educate, sensitize and entertain our St. Maarten people and our visitors at the same time. We chose Rent this year because the Tony Award winning production has touched many lives while delivering a message about how people who are infected and affected deal with the disease,” President of the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation said.
“In every calendar year there are 525,600 minutes. In life we all rent emotions, we don’t own them. Those key thoughts are central in my mind as I anticipate the curtains rising on St. Maarten’s production of Rent, and what better day than World AIDS Day,” Producer Suzette Moses-Burton said.
“In the past the community of St. Maarten has shared so much with those of us deeply involved in the fight against HIV and AIDS, including your emotions and time. We want to invite the community to share some of the remaining minutes of 2011 with us as we continue our tradition of using cultural performances as a key means of carrying the message,” she added.
“As a creative team, we’ve worked to stay true to Jonathon Larson’s vision but we’ve also injected that true St. Maarten flair as embodied in so many of the rich voices here. The cast is coming together both on and off the rehearsal times and we’re sure that when we hit the stage, they’ll have gelled so well that the emotions will be real and the performances will be spectacular,” Jansen and de Jong said.
Though the organizers would have wished to make this a family event Rent is rated R. The hope is that adults who see the show will so grasp the message, that they’ll be able to also take it to the next generation.

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