Thursday, May 28: Pre-Show Panel on history of HIV/AIDS crisis and underlying themes of RENT


RENT: May 20-22, May 27-30, All Shows 7PM

La Vie Boheme A

La Vie Boheme A

Garfield High School is proud to present Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking rock-opera Rent, opening May 20. Garfield will be the first high school in Washington to perform Rent as it was originally intended, in its full and uncensored form. GHS students are known for their history of challenging widely held beliefs and opening up discussions in response to contemporary issues prevalent within our society.

Set in New York City during the HIV crisis of the 1990s, Rent follows a year in the lives of Alphabet City’s bohemian residents as they struggle with issues of AIDS, sexuality, homelessness, and economic hardship. Although Rent deals with weighty and often controversial subject matter, its overall message is one of love, hope, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Garfield students are involved in every aspect of the production, from the choreography to the pit orchestra to the set and costume designers. Seniors Emma Franklin and Elaine Tian have created original choreography for iconic numbers like ‘La Vie Bohème,’ ‘Contact,’ and ‘The Tango Maureen,’ adapting the latter into a large scale performance featuring multiple dance partners.

Freshman Evan Owens stars as Mark Cohen, an aspiring filmmaker, determined to document his friends’ various hopes and endeavors as well as the many difficulties they encounter over the course of a year. He plays alongside senior Jacob Caspe as Roger Davis, a struggling rock musician determined to write ‘one great song’ before he succumbs to HIV. Senior Demilin Melton plays Roger’s love interest Mimi Marquez, a Hispanic-American club dancer who feels trapped by the physical and emotional confines of disease and drug addiction. Other notable roles include Maureen Johnson (senior Emma Franklin), a performance artist and activist who advocates for the rights of the city’s homeless, her lover Joanne Jefferson (senior Ayanda Chisholm), an Ivy-league lawyer, the anarchist professor Tom Collins (senior Doug Snyder), who longs for true love despite having AIDS, Angel Dumott Schunard (junior Eli Breidford), a compassionate and optimistic young drag queen, and Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III (senior Griffen MacCorkle), their landlord and the main antagonist of the play.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors & students, and $5 for children. Show dates are May 20, 21, 21, 27, 28, 29, 30 at 7:00 in the Quincy Jones Performance Center, 400 23rd Ave Seattle, WA, 98122. Parental guidance advised for children under 13.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at