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College of the Canyons Theatre Department to Stage a Production of 'Rent'

Posted: April 17, 2014 12:29 p.m.
Updated: April 17, 2014 12:29 p.m.

SANTA CLARITA—When “Rent,” the musical loosely based on Puccini’s “La Boheme” premiered on the Broadway stage in 1996, it took the theatre world by storm.

Among the thousands of “Rent-heads” who camped overnight at Nederlander Theater to snag limited rush seats to the musical was Matthew McCray, a college theatre student, who flew to New York just to experience the musical tour de force.

“Seeing ‘Rent’ live was kind of an affirmation,” said McCrary. “I was there to not only see the show, but to affirm my belief in what it was saying about creativity, artists, celebrating difference, promoting acceptance and love.”

Needless to say, McCrary is thrilled to be directing the College of the Canyons Theatre Department’s production of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center, running from May 9-17.

“It is incredibly satisfying to direct ‘Rent’ and see that students continue to be deeply affected by its story and message, just as I was 20 years ago when I was their age,” said McCray. “It’s hard to believe that ‘Rent’ is almost 20 years old but comforting to see that its themes continue to speak to passionate hearts and minds.”

Set in New York’s East Village, “Rent” follows a year in the life of a group of struggling artists and musicians who fight for their dreams, loves and “La Vie Boheme” while living under the shadow of AIDS.

The college’s production features a talented and diverse cast of students and community members, including the reigning Miss Mexico City and COC theatre graduate, Setareh Khatibi.

“It is very exciting to bring ‘Rent’ to the PAC stage for a new generation of theatre lovers to enjoy,” said Paul Wickline, chair of the COC theatre department and the play’s producer. “This is also a wonderful learning opportunity for our talented and diverse cast, many of whom are making their theatrical debut at COC.”

“Rent” opens at 8 p.m. Friday, May 9-10 and continues at 8 p.m. May 16-17. A matinee performance will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 11.

Tickets for all performances are $10 for adults and $5 for students/seniors.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit or call (661) 362-5304.

This production contains profanity and adult situations and is recommended for mature audiences only. Children under the age of 5 are not allowed in the theater.

The entire cast list is below:

- Colin Roberts… Mark

- Gage Rothstein… Roger

- Sabrina Lewis… Mrs. Cohen, Homeless, Ensemble

- Lawrence Patchin… Collins

- Joshua Hansen-Clark… Benny

- Khylan Jones… Joanne

- Ever Pabon Torres… Angel

- Francisca Riso… Mimi

- Setareh Khatibi… Maureen

- Christopher Richards… Mr. Jefferson, Squeegee Man, Ensemble

- Maia McDaniel… Mrs. Jefferson, Roger’s mom, Ensemble

- Tim Cervenka… Gordon, Waiter, Ensemble

- Michael Keith… Paul, The Man, Ensemble

- Shannon Whalen… Vendor, Mimi’s mom, Ensemble

- Aubrie Alexander… Soloist, Homeless, Ensemble

- Breana Tomey…Alexi Darling, Homeless, Ensemble

For more information about “RENT” and to purchase tickets, visit

Note: The Signal delivers press releases from reliable sources to provide up-to-the-minute information to our website readers. Information directly from news sources has not been vetted by The Signal news room. It may appear subsequently in news stories after it has been vetted.



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