A scene cut led to the cancellation of the first showing of “Rent” at ETSU, which was scheduled for Wednesday.
“There were some issues with the contract that had not been met,” ETSU Chief Communications Officer Joe Smith said, “specifically that any kind of change or alteration could not be made to the script.”
“Rent,” and numerous other musicals, are owned by the licensing company Music Theatre International. When the rights and scripts to perform a musical are purchased, they often come with very specific contracts.
In this case, the contract stated no cuts or alternations could be made to the script; however, this was overlooked by “Rent” director Patrick Cronin.
So, when he needed to cut a scene due to the size of the cast, Cronin didn’t think twice about it.
“I have directed hundreds of shows, and made many cuts before,” Cronin said. “So, I did the same with the street scenes [in ‘Rent’] because we did not have enough actors to make those scenes interesting.”
Cronin said he received an email from Music Theatre International a few hours before the curtain was set to open on Wednesday, saying the show could not be performed as rehearsed.
So, the decision was made to cancel the opening performance and use the evening to add the missing scenes back to the production.
“The actors and art team worked numerous extra hours on Wednesday to get the changes made, and the opening performance was executed on Thursday,” Smith said. “As they say, ‘the show must go on.’”
There will be no additional performance added to make up for the Wednesday mishap because it would conflict with Thanksgiving break.
Those who purchased tickets for the opening performance can call the box office at 439-6511 for a full refund.
Cronin apologized for the mistake and said he was grateful to be working with a team of “driven and talented actors” who were willing to add the extra scenes at the last minute.
“I have a young cast who were able to add six pages of material in two days,” Cronin said. “I am just grateful that we got the show on and that we caught the mistake I had made.”