Monday, March 19, 2012


Thanks to all passionate RENT fans around the world who participated in our Official Blog contest. There were so many wonderful entries that we picked 5 winners instead of 4! We are happy to introduce you to RENT's new Official Blog contributors: Andrew Milne, Brandon Nichols, Nicole Wright, Rori Nogee, and Tommy Collison! Get to know them and look out for their blog entries soon!

NAME: Andrew Milne

AGE: 17

WHERE I'M FROM: I’m a Jersey boy, born and bred (and we’re all not like the cast of “Jersey Shore,” trust me).

140-CHARACTER WINNING ENTRY: As a writer like Mark, I see Rent as the oldest human story; it is about love. Tragic, “forbidden,” unrequited, Rent is about love’s power over us all, and who it makes us.

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I'VE SEEN RENT AND WHERE I'VE SEEN IT: I’ve seen the movie countless times, but I actually have never seen the play (I was too young to appreciate it when it ran the first time, and I haven’t had a chance to go since the revival), a fact I hope to remedy soon!

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER IN RENT AND WHY: My favorite character is probably Maureen, because I’ve had a fascination with those Helen of Troy, Marilyn Monroe-type characters since I was little. There’s something about a character with an inexplicable magnetism that attracts everyone unfailingly that I find extremely alluring; anyone who can evoke the potent permutation of lust, love, and revulsion that Mark and Joanne feel for Maureen interests me.

ABOUT ME: Right now, I’m in tech week for my senior production of Bye Bye Birdie, (and I’m currently an editor-in-chief of my school paper as well as an editor of the literary magazine) as well as preparing for college, where I hope to study journalism or communications. Someday I want to be a globe-trotting writer, recording fantastic tales of life and love, combining my two major passions: stories and traveling. My love of stories and the human condition is precisely why RENT appeals to me so; it’s a heartbreaking tale about love, loss, beauty, and the transience of life. Because RENT taught me that life is only leased, I want to live big and experience all I can.

FUN FACT: I can do a split without injuring myself.

NAME: Brandon Nichols

AGE: 20

WHERE I'M FROM: Cabot, Arkansas

140-CHARACTER WINNING ENTRY: Rent a musical that I live by. It's a world of music, art, friendship & love. Life's too short. Friends are forever. @RENTOffBroadway

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I'VE SEEN RENT AND WHERE I'VE SEEN IT: I have seen the stage version 2 times, the motion picture 27 times, Filmed Live on Bway 17 times.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER IN RENT AND WHY: My favorite character in the show is Maureen! She isn't afraid to put it all out there, she says what she thinks and she knows how to stick by her friends when it really matters. Most of all she loves to have fun AND she is a performer. ;)

ABOUT ME: Currently I am still auditioning for things here in Arkansas. I just auditioned for two shows The Full Monty & Spring Awakening! I am also currently working as a Performing Arts Instructor teaching kids how to become better performers. I would have to say, at some point in my life, I want nothing more than to hit that Broadway stage (or any stage for that matter) in NYC! I've always had a passion to perform RENT in NYC more than any others. I first heard of RENT when I was in Charlotte's Web a long time ago. I immediately fell in love with the show, making my mother buy me the "Best of RENT" CD, later buying the full soundtrack. Ever since then that show has shown me that it's okay to be yourself, continue doing what you love to do and always cherish those closest to you.

FUN FACT: A fun fact about me is that I was actually the first person in Arkansas to originate the role of Angel in the first Non-Professional production of RENT!

NAME: Nicole Wright

AGE: 20


140-CHARACTER WINNING ENTRY: Nicole_M_Wright: @RentOffBroadway RENT means love: love of one another, love of what you do, love of life. It's a celebration of individuality and gives hope

HOW MANY TIMES I'VE SEEN RENT AND WHERE I'VE SEEN IT: Broadway (4x), Off-Broadway at New World Stages (5x), community theatre (BayWay Arts Center - East Islip, NY - 1x), and college production (Hofstra University - Hempstead, NY - 1x). Total = 11x

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER IN RENT AND WHY: Angel, because her heart is so huge. She loves herself and is comfortable in her own skin; because of this, she is able to spread the love around to Collins and the rest of their friends.

ABOUT ME: I’m currently a junior at Hofstra University pursuing a BA in mathematics with drama and general business minors. I hope to find a career that somehow combines my passion/obsession for theater with my love of math. My favorite activities and much of my spare time all revolve around theater, and I have met most of my friends through shows or other theater-related activities. I first heard of RENT through its signature song, “Seasons of Love,” and just became immersed in its story and music. I saw the movie before I saw the Broadway production, and after begging my parents, my mom took my sister, Michelle, and I to the Kids Night on Broadway performance in 2007. There is absolutely nothing that beats the feeling of live performances, and with RENT, I definitely felt a need to go back and re-live that feeling. Any person trying to live their life to the fullest can connect with RENT. The show has helped me celebrate my life and who I am rather than take everything so seriously.

FUN FACT: I can make my eyes go in opposite directions, like a fish.

NAME: Rori Nogee

AGE: 20 *cough* something…

WHERE I'M FROM: I am a born and bred New Yorker! I grew up on Long Island and currently reside in Manhattan.

140-CHARACTER WINNING ENTRY: “As a NYC artist living La Vie Boheme, whether watching “Rent” from the audience or performing Maureen, each show was an emotional catharsis, a spiritual cleansing.”

HOW MANY TIMES I'VE SEEN RENT AND WHERE I’VE SEEN IT: 69 times on Broadway, 10 times on the final Broadway national tour (in 5 cities), and once at the Hollywood Bowl. You know, ish… But who’s counting? Um…

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER IN RENT AND WHY: I’ve always been most partial to Mimi. I love her complete lack of inhibition, the way she acts on instinct, her vulnerability, her fearlessness in loving another with her entire soul, and how passionately she goes after what she wants.

ABOUT ME: Hi. I’m Rori and I’m a RENT Head. I have been since 1997. I am also an actress, a singer/songwriter, a playwright, an artist, a musician, a goof, and a hopeFUL romantic.

At this moment in time I am blogging from Sonora, California where I am performing in a production of Gypsy at Sierra Repertory Theatre. I play Mazeppa, the stripping trumpet player. I make my mother proud.

I started performing when I was 7 years old in dance recitals. By the age of 10, I somehow catapulted to Broadway in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. From that moment on, I never stopped singing, dancing, or loving all things musical theater. The highlight of my career thus far has been playing Maureen in a beautiful production of RENT at the Charleston Music Hall in South Carolina.

I aspire to once again perform on Broadway, snag some dream roles in various rock and Sondheim musicals, write my own rock musical, and in the near future, produce my original play, Down This Road, which received staged readings in NYC last summer. My ultimate goal as a performer is just to continue to be able to support myself by doing what I love.

RENT has had a profound affect on my life. In the late ’90s I was an artsy outcast in school with a poor self-image. Then, I saw RENT. I was introduced to self-assured, passionate characters who reflected my own values and quirks. Suddenly, I began to love and accept myself, and was shown how deeply I could love others. RENT shaped the kind of music I like, the kind of performer I want to be, the kind of material I want to write, and even how I dress! I live my life according to the mantra, “No Day But Today.” And just in case I forget, it is tattooed across my body. Yes, really.

FUN FACT: My favorite movie of all time is Titanic and I plan to be at the front of the line for a 3D Sonora, California.

NAME: Tommy Collison

AGE: 17

WHERE I'M FROM: Limerick, Ireland.

140-CHARACTER WINNING ENTRY: “After traveling halfway across the world to see RENT, it showed me the beauty of life in the face of its fragility: in love”

  • Dublin, Ireland.
  • Wexford, Ireland.
  • Cork, Ireland. (Same production, three separate times.)
  • Limerick, Ireland. (Our Youth Theatre - Centrespace Youth Theatre - put it in on 2010. I played Mark; those were some of the best times of my life.)
  • Providence, RI. (Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal’s 2009 tour.)
  • New York City, NY. (Very first opening preview, July 2011.)

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER IN RENT AND WHY: I adore the fact that Roger’s character is so deep and multi-faceted, but I’d have to say that my absolute favorite character in RENT is Mark. We’re just so similar in so many ways. We’re both goofy, socially awkward and we want the best for our friends. We also have the flaw of sometimes putting our work in front of everything else. (For Mark, it’s his movie. For me, it’s writing, studying or chess.)

ABOUT ME: I’m a bisexual high school Junior in Ireland. I’d love to go to a US college and do some sort of English major when I finish school, so I’m taking the SAT outside of school at the moment too. When I’m not studying, I’m reading, playing chess, or hanging out with my boyfriend, Jared. I also listen to A LOT of music from a wide range of artists and genres. I’m a voracious reader of everything from crappy teenage romance novels to John Milton’s Paradise Lost (which, I maintain, is one of the best things ever written). I also love weird foods like guacamole, or Stilton.

I discovered RENT in summer 2009, when our theatre company showcased it. I got the OBC album and practically broke the CD through overplaying. My personal connection would be having had the luck to star in a local production of it in 2010. I played Mark and got to work with an amazing group of young people.

FUN FACT: I like the Ruy Lopez opening and people keep telling me that I’m a dead-ringer for Anthony Rapp.


  1. Congrats, guys! Good luck!

    BTW, Glad to see Tommy as one of the new bloggers! I met him over the summer when I was blogging! :-)

  2. Congrats Brandon! We can't wait to

    Staff at CAPAA

  3. SO very excited!!

  4. Andrew, I just have to you described Maureen is amazing!

    1. Thanks Rori! I'm so jealous that you got to play her (I can't sing, so I have a bit of vocal envy)

  5. lettergirl42aka Michelle,RENT for me has been a rollercoaster ride. I do not have a favorite. Everyone is so amazing and spoke to my heart. I have seen the movie, at least 50x at least. I did see the Broadway Version that my girl Tracie Thoms was in. I know that I maybe the oldest person that is truly a RENTHEAD! And proud of it.There is nothing like being in the moment, being free, and being loved. GOD BLESS all of you. THANK YOU