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

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