Rent (2005): Eight Crazy New Yorkers, All Defined by Love

By Koby Hrynkiewicz, Shahar Hartman, & Elisa Maknojia

While experiencing Rent and its timeless themes of love, acceptance, inclusion, and living life to the fullest, we decided as a group that no written assignment could do justice in explaining the importance of this musical and how it transcends the concepts of social barriers of race, gender, and sexuality. With that being said, we came together with our own unique backgrounds to discuss in podcast form how this musical, through its blurring of social barriers among the ensemble, is an homage to the lost artists within the 1980s and 90s New York City AIDs Crisis.

You can find the podcast here.

Below is an interactive slideshow to accompany the podcast experience and contextualize several points discussed. Photos in the slideshow include screen grabs from Rent (2005), images of the Lower East Side in 1990s New York City, anti-AIDs and anti-gay publications, pro-gay protests, firsthand evidence of New York artists lost to AIDs, and two podcasters measuring their year in cups of coffee.


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