Local actresses to perform in ‘RENT’

By Zoe Jovanovich | Jul 25, 2013

Two Kamiak High School alumni will be performing in CORE theatrics summer production of RENT.

RENT is a rock musical about a group of young artists and musicians struggling to succeed in New York’s lower east side, many dealing with HIV/AIDS.

As an actress and human being, I've always been very attracted to RENT,” said actress Shannon Flynn.

“It speaks to so many people, because it is a show about living, choosing to live. RENT has an incredible message to live without regret and to live your life in love.”

Flynn was originally cast as Mark’s mother and a “Seasons of Love” soloist, but will now be stepping into the lead role of Joanne after the original actress broke her foot 12 days from opening.

Joanne is a lawyer and the girlfriend of Maureen, a very flirtatious performance artist. Flynn will have approximately four rehearsals and four days with the technical crew to fully develop her character.

“It has been one of my dream roles for a very long time,” she said. “I cannot wait to live this character finally.”

Performing alongside Flynn is fellow knight Anna Gebarski. Gebarski is a member of the ensemble, which she describes as “amazing,” and is also a dancer.

“The cast is unbelievably amazing,” Gebarski said. “Everyone is so wonderful and talented. I know I've made some friends that I'm going to have for a long time.”

Flynn graduated Kamiak in 2011, while Gebarski graduated this past June with the class of 2013. The two have worked together on productions in the past at Kamiak.

Flynn has also done previous productions with CORE Theatrics, such as The Pajama Game and Hamlet, however this is Gebarski’s first production with CORE.

“[Anna] is an incredible addition to the CORE community,” Flynn said about Gebarski.

Gebarski wishes that it wasn’t her first production with the company.

“This is my first production with CORE, and I regret that so much,” she said. “CORE is a truly amazing place -- I love it so much.”

Both actresses are studying theater in college.

Flynn attends Montclair State University in New Jersey, and is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. She has performed in Nine, Carousel, and Rags at the university. She is also taught and music directed for CORE’s other summer show, The Little Mermaid, Jr., for younger actors.

In the fall, Gebarski plans to pursue a major in theater with a minor in dance at UC San Diego. She also would like to study vocal performance.

Both actresses have been involved in theater since grade school. Flynn remembers her first musical, The King and I, at Harbour Pointe Middle School.

The cast of RENT ranges from ages 16 to 21. Both Flynn and Gebarski said that one of the highlights of working on the production was the people.

“We all hang out a lot outside of rehearsals and go on the lake and swim together,” Flynn said. “What's really great about this cast is we've become a community, a family more so, which is really clear in the show.

“This show is about community, and it's great that we've become one.”

Performances are July 26-27 and Aug. 2-3 at 7 p.m., as well as a 2 p.m. matinee on Aug. 4, at the Lake Washington High School Performing Arts Center.

Ticket prices are $16 student and senior and $18 for adults. To purchase tickets, go to: https://tix2.seatyourself.biz/webstore/webstore.html?domain=coretheatrics&event.

Please note: RENT the musical is a rated R show and is recommended for ages 16 and up.

Zoe Jovanovich is an intern for the Mukilteo Beacon.

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