Talented young cast secured for Stone Youth Theatre’s ‘RENT’ production


A little over twelve months since its foundation, the future looks bright for Stone Youth Theatre following the high turnout of talented young performers vying for a part in the group’s forthcoming production of the musical ‘RENT’.

A popular – if somewhat controversial – musical, ‘RENT’ is loosely based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La bohème, and tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York during a period of sexual promiscuity and the rise of HIV/AIDS. It was first performed on Broadway to sellout audiences in the mid-1990s, before being adapted in 2005 into a hit movie.

Open auditions took place throughout May at Stone’s Rooftop Studios, with the panel delighted by the numbers in attendance as well as the aptitude of the audtionees. In total, over forty actors, singers, dancers and musicians – drawn from across Staffordshire, and representing a good mix of male and female performers aged 15 to early 20s – turned out to showcase their skills. The auditions’ popularity reflects SYT’s growing reputation following its strong production of ‘A Chorus Line’ earlier this year. Studio Director, Laura Keeling, says:

“After the success of ‘A Chorus Line’ we wanted to push the boundaries a bit and do something that would appeal to older students as well as our younger members, and given its reputation for controversy ‘RENT’ seemed like perfect choice.

“We were somewhat overwhelmed by the response to the audition call – and the talent on show. It has made the casting process really tough – in fact there wasn’t one ‘weak link’ – so we have ended up casting everyone who went through the full audition! We now have the full cast of RENT covered plus understudies for the lead roles – we’ve even developed some chorus line dance roles to ensure everyone is accommodated.

“Everyone at SYT and Rooftop is excited about this production and we genuinely believe there could be future stars amongst the cast. It should be well worth coming to see!”

Rehearsals for the show are already underway every Thursday evening at Rooftop Studios in preparation for the performance run at The Rep theatre, Stoke-on-Trent in February 2016.

Stone Youth Theatre is a not-for-profit organisation and, as such, needs to raise funds on a regular basis to cover the £2,000 it costs each year to cover tuition and production fees. You can show your support by purchasing tickets for SYT productions, hiring its performance troupe for a charity ball or business convention, or simply by making a donation – any amount will be gratefully accepted. For more information please contact Laura Keeling on 01785 761233 or email info@rooftopstudios.co.uk