SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) -
In Catawba College and Lee Street theatre's recent collaborative production of RENT, acting turned into action when the performers who played homeless people solicited members of the audience for money. The result, after seven offerings of the show, was a donation of $205 to Rowan Helping Ministries.
RENT highlights the importance of each individual within a community, just like the tent city that the characters of the play live in. The production honed in on the importance of community and seemed a perfect opportunity to do more than just entertain theatre-goers, said co-director Justin Dionne, managing artistic director or Lee Street theatre.
“Chris Zink [professor and chair of Catawba's Theatre Arts Department] suggested we do this and designate Rowan Helping Ministries as the non-profit recipient,” Dionne explained. “Our audience did a lot more than play along – they gave generously – the result of a good idea and kind hearts combining is Rowan Helping Ministries will receive some much needed funding.”
Dionne and Elizabeth Homan, an associate professor theatre at Catawba, co-directed the production of RENT that played three shows at Catawba's Hedrick Little Theatre on Nov. 13 through 15, and four shows at Lee Street theatre on Nov. 20 through the 22. The production's cast included Catawba Theatre Arts students, Catawba alumni and community members.