We spoke to the Performing Arts society ahead of their performance of Rent

The show is running the 16th to the 18th of March


If that second semester slump is hitting you hard and you’re looking for a night off, BU’s Performing Art’s society has got you covered with their production of Rent.

The infamous rock musical Rent tells the story of a group of New York artists struggling with their careers and love lives, whilst living in the shadow cast by the AIDS epidemic.

The show is running at the Palace Court Exploratorium from 16th to 18th of March and stars many talented BU and AUB students.

We got the chance to chat with some of their dedicated production team and get their thoughts on the show:

What’s been the most exciting part of creating this show?

“This show has been so exciting to work on, but seeing my notes and ideas come to life and amazing both myself, the crew and cast is a really special moment.” – Daniel Jidkov – Head of Lighting

“Seeing the whole show come together from the first production meeting to opening night.” – Tilly

“The most exciting part of creating this show was definitely watching how passionate the cast and crew got throughout the weeks. They are without a doubt the most talented group of individuals that I’ve ever worked with and its been a real pleasure to support and watch them grow as people and as artists.” – Alex Shaw, president of PARTs.

Why did the society choose RENT? What does it mean to you?

“The society chose RENT because it seems to be the musical that is most relatable to the students and young people around us. Even though the conception and setting of the musical was created way before any of us were alive, it still strikes the heart strings of anyone who watches it. We think that’s very special and we’re glad that we’re trying to keep it alive.” – Alex Shaw, president of PARTs.

How has it been coming out of Covid? Have there been difficulties with venues?

“Its clear to see in the grassroots theatre industry that Covid is still having an effect. Not only were theatres struggling to keep their doors open, but new theatres and groups would have been discouraged from opening as well. This was certainly the case last semester with the Shelley Theatre indefinitely closing their doors which put PARTS in a really tough spot, considering it was our main theatre of choice for many years.

“This year was no walk in the park either as we had to find somewhere that was affordable and suitable for our needs. After a few mishaps of venues, we were lucky to create a partnership with AUB, who kindly offered to use our show as the flagship performance for their recently bought venue, The Palace Court Theatre. Theatre is coming back, but we have to make sure we’re all doing our part to ensure that the legacy of it is continually renewed.” – Alex Shaw, president of PARTs

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A post shared by BU & AUB PARTS (@buaubparts)

How do you manage full time uni work and producing a musical?

“The simplest answer is, I don’t. It would be an impossible task to be a full-time university student, run the society and run the show. That’s why I am so lucky to have an incredible production team to run and produce the show. They are the real heroes. I’m just here to push buttons, write emails and make a couple dozen speeches now and again. Oh and make fundraisers, more info on that soon. Watch out.” – Alex Shaw, president of PARTs.

“Obviously working on a full musical is no easy feat but having done a lot of prep beforehand is making the show week go much smoother, although saying that, hiccups still are and have tripped me up at multiple moments. My Google calendar is saving me in terms of planning my days making sure I still get to my lectures AND rehearsals on time.” -Daniel Jidkov – Head of Lighting.

“The pre-production work was essential to ensure getting uni work on time but the crew and production team have been so supportive about any issues that have come up”. – Tilly Gates, Assistant Director and Assistant Choreographer.

What can audiences expect from the show?

“Audiences can expect a lot of music, a lot of singing and a lot of us making a big show on a shoe-string budget in what is essentially a skeleton of a theatre at the moment. We want to amaze and impress the audience with what we as a cast and crew have managed to achieve.” – Daniel Jidkov – Head of Lighting.

“A lot of laughter, tears and joy. The cast are such a talented group of people, come see RENT.” – Tilly Gates, Assistant Director and Assistant Choreographer.

“Audiences can expect to be amazed, to cry, to laugh and to be fully invested in the world of RENT.  The set is incredible, the band is incredible and the performances are out of this world. This seriously is the best musical to come out of PARTS in the last couple of years, we are coming back with a bang.” – Alex Shaw, president of PARTs.

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A post shared by BU & AUB PARTS (@buaubparts)

Were there any other challenges?

“In a lighting sense, having to work with little budget didn’t give me much wiggle room but with AUB and The Old Fire Station being so nice as to lend us free equipment, I hope that mine and my director’s vision will come to life. Working in such a historic theatre is a privilege and its amazing to be able to be the first show to pilot it and lead it into a new chapter.

“To be able to work with the people who run the theatre and give them ideas, suggestions and advice for what to add and change, especially from a lighting standpoint is a lot of fun. We are really proud of what we have created and we hope we can share that excitement and passion with all those who bought tickets.” – Daniel Jidkov – Head of Lighting

Tickets for Rent can be purchased via the PART’s linktree. More information about the PARTs society can be found on their Instagram, Facebook, and SUBU page.

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