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Curtain Rises on “Rent” — Young actors perform the musical

The performers in the Young Artists Theater Workshop will perform ‘Rent’ at the Sonoma Community Center this weekend. Photos by Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

The performers in the Young Artists Theater Workshop will perform ‘Rent’ at the Sonoma Community Center this weekend. Photos by Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

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The curtain goes up this weekend only as the Experiential Theater Company (eTc!) presents “Rent” on the Rotary Stage in Andrews Hall at the Sonoma Community Center.

Fifteen talented teenaged and college-aged performing artists have been hard at work under the artistic direction of Cat Austin since November rehearsing, developing their skills as singer/actors while preparing the show “Rent” for a full scale production.

They perform for one weekend only, at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22, and a matinee at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb 23. This production of “Rent” is a product of the Young Artists Theater Workshop department of eTc!  which produces one youth show a season. Austin is presenting “Rent” as a pilot for the Sonoma Theatre Alliance Teens In Training program.

ETc! is presently undergoing some changes and growth. This has made it possible for Austin to hire a stage director for the show, Robbie Dornaus who was the Emcee from last season’s “Cabaret.” Dornaus has brought his professional skills in acting, singing and movement to the company as part of their workshop training.

Austin also brought vocal coach Hillary Wicht on board to instruct the cast in healthy vocal technique. Wicht comes to the company as a professional singer with extensive experience in performance and teaching. The young performers explore all the elements of creating inspired artistic performances.

Tickets are on sale now online at svbo.org or by calling 938-4626 or by visiting the box office at the Sonoma Community Center. The community center is located at 276 E. Napa st.

This “little theatre company that could” is offering three productions this year in association with the Sonoma Theatre Alliance. Their subsequent productions this year are presented by the semi-professional department of eTc!, “The Full Monty,” in June and “A Modern Encounter,” in September as part of the STA Festival of Theatre. For more information, call 479-7856.