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Vanguard Theater presents RENT, the Rock Musical

originally published: 06/08/2022

Vanguard Theater presents RENT, the Rock Musical

(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Vanguard Theater will present selections from RENT, the Rock Musical, on the Montclair Pride Mainstage on Saturday, June 11 at 1:30pm, in a preview of its production of the full length musical opening at Vanguard Theater on June 17, 2022. Performance run June 17-19, June 23-26, and June 30 to July 3. Vanguard’s professional production of RENT will be one of the last times audiences can see the show regionally, before a national tour begins sometime in the fall.  

Leading the artistic team are Vanguard’s Producing Artistic Director, Janeece Freeman Clark, who recently directed Vanguard’s critically acclaimed production of “Next to Normal,” and Music Director, Matt DeMaria, music supervisor for the RENT 25th Anniversary Tour and former Music Preparation Production Assistant for Come From Away (Broadway).  

Janeece Freeman Clark, Vanguard Theater’s Founding Artistic Director and 2022 Tony Award Nominee for Excellence in Theater Education, states that Vanguard is thrilled to partner with these organizations. “The perceptions we hold about ourselves, others, and the world are often created and reinforced in the stories we hear and see. Our productions prompt ourselves, artists, and audiences to see the world, and each other, differently. We believe that partnering with local organizations to connect theater to community concerns benefits us all.”

A hallmark of Vanguard Theater is partnering with non-arts organizations to amplify their missions and propel social justice.  Vanguard will celebrate these organizations at the following performances of RENT:

Vanguard will celebrate the work of Montclair History Center on June 18; Hyacinth AIDS Foundation on June 23; and Hudson Pride Center on June 24.

Helen Fallon, Vice President of Montclair History Center, will speak at the June 18th performance, stating that “Montclair History Center shares Vanguard Theater Company’s dedication to sharing stories – and history – to educate and create a sense of community for all individuals. 

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Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, has been fighting HIV since1985. Says Executive Director Kathy Ahearn-O'Brien: “The story of Rent resonates with many of our clients - young gay men and transgender women of color looking for acceptance as they struggle for survival. Hyacinth's mission is to help people live with HIV, stop the spread of the epidemic, and serve as a critical voice in the public debate surrounding HIV in New Jersey.” Through eight regional offices in New Jersey, Hyacinth provides supportive services to over 1,000 people, provide over 5,000 individuals with testing for HIV and/or STIs tests, provide education on HIV prevention and harm reduction services, and develop public policies to safeguard the rights of individuals living with HIV and to ensure full access to health care for all.

Hudson Pride Center recognizes that the hardest part of navigating HIV-related healthcare needs can often be doing it alone. Hudson Pride Center provides HIV awareness and preventative services, services for queer women, transmen and transmasculine people, genderaffirming services and resources, emergency housing and Latinx Community/Comunidad Latinx Services provided in Spanish.

In another instance of giving back to the community, Vanguard Theater presents an encore performance of Whispers of Jubilee on June 19th, in commemoration of the emancipation of freed African Americans.  This performance, in collaboration with Aurway Theatre, is free to the community, but reservations are strongly encouraged. 

Anyone interested in volunteering with Vanguard Theater should contact info@dreamvtc.org.  All are welcome to join the Vanguard Theater family.

Tickets for RENT and Whispers of Jubilee are available at bit.ly/ticketsVTC

Founded in 2015, Vanguard Theater Company is a unique 501(c)(3) committed to changing the narrative through theater dedicated to DREAM: Diversity, Reciprocity, Education, Activism & Mentorship.  

PHOTO: Seated from left to right:  Lily Soto, Zack Abbey, Zack Blumenstyk, Marcel Joshua; Standing front row from left to right: Michael Jayne Walker, Markia Furtado-Rahill, Jordan Gold, Quincy Hampton, Jenna Robinson, Jason Tyler Smith, Chachi Quinn; Standing back row from left to right: Nimat, Malcolm Green, Brianna Marie Johnson, Bobby Barksdale



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