The Masked Singers


Photo by Natalie Szabo

The Rent cast rehearses wearing masks.

This week, Hinsdale South students will perform Renta rock musical complete with romance, LGBTQ+ relationships, and a twist of drama. The musical is set in the early 1990s and focuses on a group of unemployed New Yorkers struggling with their love lives and the effects of the AIDS epidemic on their neighborhood. In the musical, a filmmaker and a musician contemplate how they will raise money to pay back rent to their former roommate. At the same time, a professor and friend of theirs falls in love with someone who is dying of AIDS. 

The musical directed is by Mr. Yuska and stars the following South students: Cameron Chamberlain, Cate Cianci, Grace Cvengros, Tyler Hallman, Nikki Jason, Gabe Koszewiski, Darrell Mondaine, Henry Sullivan, Myla Anderson, Mandy Aylward, Lily Levine, Izzy O’Neill, Eva Borsuk, Carly Booth, Jenna Cox, Andrea Crisp, Wesley Davis, Peyton Drouin, Annina Garro, Trevor Hernandez, Quinn Isberg, Quin Jennings, Casey Leone, Maddy Motherway, Terrence Newell, Luiza Oliveira, Destiny Prater, Elena Rahman, Ben Simpson, Angie Valdez, and Sophia Yen. 

To keep things running smoothly, the show also has a robust stage crew consisting of Ali Barajaz, Jamila Nadine Booc, Lana Carlisle, Joseph Chen, Lia Chung, Ava Chvosta, Jaiden DeRousse, Maggie Fleming, Garret Grosskopf, Mitchell Hanson, Keith Henricksen, Zola Hinojosa, Zara Jamil, Maggie Koubenec, Matthew Leonardson, Shiloh Mathelier, Sophie Petrosius, Jayden Sams, Molly Severus, Nicole Sevic, Alex Siarny, Natalie Szabo, Gavin Torok, Kim Thul, and Edwin Vanterpool.  

The Rent actors revealed in conversations with Stinger their thoughts on this unique musical.

“It’s a story of love, it’s a story of hate; it’s a story of understanding why those two are different and how they’re the same. It’s the story of life,” said freshman Andrea Crisp. 

Auditions for Rent were held back in early September, and rehearsals began the same week. However, they were disrupted due to Illinois health regulations. The cast struggled with finding effective ways to work under these new regulations. After several rehearsals in which the cast experimented with different masks and the number of people allowed in one space, they came to understand how to safely adhere to COVID-19 protocols while performing. 

It’s a story of love, it’s a story of hate.

Staff members are working hard to keep both actors and audience members safe by taking extra protective measures against COVID. The school is giving audience members the option to socially distance themselves and is requiring them to wear masks when viewing the performance. Additionally, the seats closest to the stage will be blocked off to ensure additional distance between the cast and the audience. 

Tickets can be purchased during the week of Rent at any lunch period or from Mr. Yuska in room 262, for 10 dollars per student, and 15 dollars for each adult. They can also be bought upon entry before the musical for the same price, but it’s not certain there will be spots left. There will be a showings at 7 pm on Thursday, November 11th through Saturday, November 13th, as well as a 2 pm matinee on Sunday, November 14th. The performance on Saturday will be interpreted in American Sign Language.

 The Hinsdale South Drama Program is delighted to perform its first live show in two years, and its members are looking forward to sharing their hard work, talent, and passion with the Hinsdale community. So, be sure to get tickets before they’re sold out, and prepare to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!