After every show we gather the membership together and ask for their favourite moments from the production. Here, we share our memories of the things we loved most about working on RENT.
“The best moments of RENT for me were when the audience, whether it was the production team in rehearsal or the some 130 people seated in Whitireia, and cast were completely emotionally engaged during an ensemble number. That magical connection within the cast and between cast and audience is almost transcendent. For me, those spine-tingling moments are the epitome of what musical theatre is about. That, and getting a good laugh.” - Ellie Stewart
"This was my first time being involved in big stage production and I learnt so much about how all the hard work in rehearsals ends up on the stage. I loved listening to the singers in the rehearsals - you guys are amazing! Big thanks to Bruno and Wellington Footlights for this awesome opportunity!" - Samantha Burnard
“One of my favourite parts of the rehearsal process was distracting people with ridiculous faces when things were getting a bit tiring or intense, to lighten the mood and get a smile out of people (see exhibit A, above).
And during performance week, I had a great laugh in the wings each night with Tess and other cast members, dancing and miming ridiculously to numbers like Tango Maureen and La Vie Boheme!” - Edward Abrahamson
"In every good show you have a few moments onstage as a performer where you feel absolutely connected to your scene partner, to the material, to the room around you; it's exhilarating, and intense and one of the things that is so addictive about theatre. In Rent, there were two that hit every night - in WithoutYou there was a moment when I'm climbing the stairs while Roger (Dave) is singing, and I see him for the first time since we broke up. And in Goodbye Love A, the moment when Collins (Michael) and I look right at each other and sing "I can't believe this is goodbye." Both these moments always made my heart leap up into my throat." - Cassandra Tse
“It's difficult to pin down my favourite part of Rent, it was such an intense and incredible process. I think the moment that stands out the most to me was when we came together onstage for the finale - I've never felt such a strong feeling of mutual support and love from a cast before. There was such unity emotion and expression, it was a beautiful thing to be part of.
From the rehearsal process, I think I'd be torn between the rehearsal where we blocked Seasons of Love B / Cover You Reprise and the rehearsal where we blocked Finale A / B / Your Eyes. For me the first was a huge focal point for the character and it was amazing to feel the emotions in the room and be able to tap into them, while the latter was the first time we ran multiple things together and felt like we actually had a show. The latter also was a great sequence for bringing the leads together which again enhanced the sense of unity.” - Michael Stebbings
“I don't think I could specify one moment to write about but I'd like to summarise my RENT experience with one word… support. Coming into the society as a newbie I was super nervous - I found out I was singing solos (one of them being a solo comprised of 2 words repeated over and over again) and working with an incredibly talented group of people was daunting! But everybody within the cast and the creative team were so supportive. They showed support towards me, towards other cast members and the environment that was generated from that one aforementioned word made the whole process of RENT, from start to finish, an experience that I will long remember!
PS - Honest living, man!” - Ed Blunden
“I loved being part of RENT- bringing the show to life with such a truly wonderful group of people was a really special experience, and I am so, so glad to have joined Footlights! I already miss having regularly scheduled hugs from Mike Bryant during show week- they definitely helped me get through the performances. Plus, I'm a hug addict, and they were going free…” - David Young