Seated inside the Sacramento Community Theater, Elinor Lincoln Hickey High School students and clients from the Sacramento Community based Coalition (SCBC) received a lesson about the pain and struggle of starving artists fighting just to survive. Talented and award winning actors served as the teachers as they performed in the musical "Rent" on February 4. The students and clients attended the performance as part of a special arts education program.
Hickey High School is a County Community School serving public school students who are referred by school districts, the Probation Department, or the School Attendance Review Board (SARB). The school's education program utilizes standards-aligned curriculum and career technical education to provide a relevant learning experience for students. The school is under the administration and operation of the Sacramento County Board of Education and the County Superintendent of Schools.
The SCBC is a collaborative effort between the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) specifically designed for men and women reentering the community from state prison.
"Rent" is a Pulitzer Prize winning rock musical with music and lyrics by the late Jonathan Larson. It is the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York's Lower East Side, under the shadow of AIDS.
Following the performance, students and SCBC clients participated in a question and answer session with six of the "Rent" performers who told attendees about their experiences of being involved with the award winning show.
"It has afforded us so many opportunities to travel around the world. It's a show that impacts people's lives," said Anthony Rapp, who reprised the role of Mark Cohen, which he originally performed when "Rent" opened up off Broadway fourteen years ago.
"It's so meaningful to the audience. It's rare to go back to a character you helped create," added performer Adam Pascal, who returned to play the role of character Roger Davis.
SCOE is committed to supporting Arts Learning Leadership in the disciplines of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts. Through state and federal Art Grants, various partnerships, professional development offerings, rotating arts exhibits, and current arts research, SCOE provides an avenue for administrators, teachers, students, and community members to be involved in Advocacy of Arts Education.