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USD Theatre brings rock musical sensation ‘RENT’ to the stage

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre presents the Tony Award-winning musical, “RENT”, April 17-21 in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.

Based loosely on Puccini’s “La Boheme,” “RENT” follows a year in the life of a group of young artists struggling to make it in New York City’s Lower East Side. With popular songs like “Rent”, “Seasons of Love” and “La Vie Boheme” and an uplifting story about finding love and living for today, the musical has grown into a worldwide phenomenon enjoying a 12-year run on Broadway.

The USD production features Nick Manthe of Le Mars, Iowa as aspiring filmmaker, Mark Cohen, and Steve Schaeffer of Sioux Falls, S.D. as Roger Davis, who is HIV positive. Gabriel Gomez of Fargo, N.D. plays their ex-friend Benjamin Coffins III, while Ceci Quintero of Denver, Colo. is Benjamin’s protest happy ex-girlfriend, Maureen. Kendra Bolan of Lincoln, Neb. is Maureen’s new girlfriend, Joanne, while Jordan Mitchell of Omaha, Neb. is Collins, a friend to Mark and Roger who has AIDS. Kristian Asfeldt of Sioux Falls, S.D. plays the drag queen Angel Dumott Schunard, and Brianna Adams of Lincoln, Neb. takes on the role of Mimi, a night club dancer addicted to heroin. Through a year of experiencing HIV and drug addictions, loss and love, the characters learn the importance of living for the moment. A photo of cast members Schaeffer and Adams is available for download at

“RENT”, which has mature themes and language, is not recommended for children. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., April 17-20, and at 2 p.m. on April 21 in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre on the USD campus. Tickets ($15 adults, $12 senior citizens (62+) $10 K-12 and non-USD students with ID, and $5 USD students with ID) can be purchased from noon to 5 p.m. by calling the USD Theatre Box Office at (605) 677-5400 or online at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News