• Important Dates -->
  • 6/6: Capstone Gala and Senior Awards
  • 6/7: Rent Revival Performance
  • 6/13: Graduation Practice
  • 6/14: Last Day of School
  • 6/14: Graduation @ RRHS
The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


Running It Back: ‘‘RENT’’ Revival to Take International Thespian Festival Main Stage

On June 7 and 8, the Rock Ridge Performing Arts (RRPA) “RENT” company brought back the musical performed in the winter as they prepare to bring it to the International Thespian Festival main stage.
Shivu Sathe
Sophomores Ronald Hodge III, who plays Tom Collins, and Angel LaBosette, who plays Angel Dumott Schunard, star center stage during their number, “Santa Fe.”

On June 7 and 8, Rock Ridge Performing Arts (RRPA) held a revival performance of “RENT” in anticipation of their performance at the International Thespian Festival (ITF). “RENT” follows the lives of poor, aspiring artists in the city of New York while dealing with serious issues like homelessness and AIDS/HIV awareness. 

Preparing for this performance wasn’t the same as preparing for the first one, but the journey to get to the final two shows in the summer was different for every member of the company. “The first few days were stressful because we had to put the show together, do the show, then take it apart,” sophomore Grace Carper said. “To make everything ‘travel-ready,’ everything needed to be bolted together, so they had to use drills and stuff like that, take the bolts out, put everything in bagging so that it could all travel together, and it was a lot of work. We had to lift all of the pieces, put them in the truck one by one, all the props, everything. It was fun, though.”

“RENT” first premiered in the winter, but the cast had been preparing to take on their roles since the fall. With all the time spent putting together the show, it gave the company opportunities to become more attached to their characters. “I feel like taking a break from the show and coming back to it gave me a deeper connection for me,” senior Bradley Schraa said. “I could connect to the techs more , look back at it, and kinda do things in a different way than I would before because I’ve developed my character more, and I feel like other people in the cast have as well, for sure.”

Story continues below advertisement

ITF is held in Indiana, a historically red state where LGBTQ rights are not strongly protected. “We’re bringing it somewhere where things need to be said and heard, and it’s a bit of a bold move, but it’s great for the kids who don’t get to see stuff like this every day,” sophomore, and actor for Mark Cohen, Palmer Jolly said. 

RRPA is one of only nine school companies selected to attend the festival in June, an honor sought after by all of the top programs across the nation. “To be able to perform twice in front of thousands of students, teachers, and colleges from all over the country is an opportunity like no other,” sophomore Angel LaBosette said. “To any other company, [the work of putting the set together and taking it down along with all of the extra prep] may seem like a hassle, but we were able to get it done so quickly thanks to our teamwork and guidance from the staff.”

ITF will take place from June 23 to 28 this summer in Indiana.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Maya Coleman
Maya Coleman, Business Manager
Maya Coleman is a junior and this is her second year on “The Blaze.” She is the Business Manager and is excited for another year on the school newspaper! Ever since she was younger, she’s loved to write, and it’s something she believes she will always be very passionate about. She is a part of Rock Ridge Sings as another elective, and in her free time she enjoys reading books, watching movies, and hanging out with her friends.
Shivu Sathe
Shivu Sathe, News Editor
Shivu Sathe is a valued member of staff, always fast and efficient when it comes to editing articles in her role as News Editor. She’s always liked writing, so it was no surprise that she found a home in newspaper and journalism. Although she’s already beginning to prepare for her life as a college student, she enjoys staying active and up to date in terms of what’s going on around Rock Ridge as part of The Blaze.

Comments (0)

All THE BLAZE Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *