Crescent Players hold auditions for “RENT” performance

Dylan Haviland – Arts & Entertainment Editor

For two nights the narrow hallway of the Kendall Drama Lab echoed with song. Students crammed together on benches and chairs, held onto their music sheets and waited for their names to be called up one by one.  Tina Valente, sophomore and exercise science major, was auditioning with a 32-bar form of the song “Once Upon a Time” from the musical “Brooklyn,” awaiting her turn at the stage.

Valente was one of the students who auditioned for the student-run theatre group, Crescent Players’ performance of the musical Rent, by Jonathan Larson. The musical will be directed and choreographed by Larry Nye with musical direction by Kaia Monroe Rarick.

Rent will be performed on weekends at the Lyman Center from Oct. 9 to Oct. 18.

“I have actually performed in the show [at a local community theater] before so I loved performing in it, I loved watching it, so I’m kind of in love with the music and the meaning behind the show,” said Valente.  “So I’m kind of just coming around for the second time.”

Valente’s experience with Rent includes playing the character Mimi from the musical, one of the main characters.

The students auditioned for the musical with a 32-bar form which is a portion of a song of the student’s choice. Students auditioning were preferred to not choose a song from Rent, according to Michael Bendtsen, head of publicity for Crescent Players.

“These auditions are for you to show them how you are and how your voice sounds. You give them your best,” said Bendtsen. “It’s almost like a resume.”

Rent presents the possibility for newcomers to the school theater to gain experience with the Crescent Players, being an acclaimed musical and with its celebration of its twentieth anniversary.

“We’re so excited to have a lot of new freshmen come in and then there’s a lot of people who haven’t done shows in a while with us who have come back for the show because it’s such a fun show,” said Marcelle Morrisey, president of the Crescent Players.

One student auditioning for the first time was Jamie Kelly, freshman and political science major, who sang a rendition of “Happy Birthday” on stage.  Kelly had prior experience in both high school and children’s theater.

“It’s really scary coming in as a freshman and auditioning, but they’re really nice and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” said Kelly.

Bendtsen described the audition process as something like “American Idol,” with the student feeling pressure from the audience.  He mentioned that while there is the nervousness with auditioning, going up and trying is a valuable experience.

“If you are into theatre it’s good that you go through this, even if you don’t get into shows, you know you won’t be regretting it later and it’s a great experience for next time,” said Bendtsen.  “You kind of do get an idea of what [students] are in for, so in your audition next time you can improve on that.”

Photo Credit: Dylan Haviland – Arts & Entertainment Editor


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