Tonight Matthias and I were able to get into the sold out performance of â€œSongs from RENT” performed by the Experiential Theatre Company (ETC) of the Sonoma Community Center. ETC is the bold youth theatre company where teens and young adults from around Sonoma County come to learn and perform musical theatre. I give a standing ovation to the director and producers of ETC for providing these young actors with RENT to perform. The teens not only gave a 4 star performance, but you could feel they now have this deeper understanding for people who live and have died from HIV/AIDS. What better way to teach them about a disease that at one point in time did not even have a name. I wonder if for todayâ€™s youth AIDS just sounds like another STD or just another reason for a Triathlon? Do they really know the story?
As I watched these teens perform songs such as â€œSeasons of Love, Life Support, and No Day But Today (Another Day)â€ it hit me that a play with the story about life and living with HIV/AIDS in the late 80â€™s, that was written in the 90â€™s, was meant to be told today. In a way, Jonathan Larson the playwright of RENT wrote the story of HIV/AIDS that is now teaching the young people of today and tomorrow. How will I tell the story of HIV/AIDS to my future students, maybe even children? I hope I will take them to see RENT.