‘Rent’ is the popular rock opera musical written by Jonathan Larson. Loosely based on Giacomo Puccini’s beloved 1896 opera La Bohème, this show has become a musical theatre fan staple. ‘Rent’ was first seen as a workshop production at New York Theatre Workshop in 1993 where it had it’s official opening three years later in 1996. This musical made it’s Broadway debut that same year where it received critical acclaim and multiple awards and since then has led to many worldwide productions and was also adapted into a film in 2005.
Set in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the story follows a group of struggling young artists and their lives in Lower Manhattan’s East Village. We get to see the ups and downs of a number of characters including an aspiring filmmaker named Mark Cohen, his roommate, a HIV-positive musician called Roger and various other characters such as Mimi, Angel, Joanna and Maureen, each with their own difficulties and dreams. As they grapple to find their place in the world, under the shadow of the HIV/AIDS crisis, their lives intertwine to create an emotional and gritty storyline that centers self-discovery and finding out what truly matters most in life… living for today.
‘525,600 minutes’ is a reoccurring phrase from a song at the beginning of Act 2 called ‘Seasons Of Love’. This is undoubtedly the most known song from this show and definitely fits into any iconic musical theatre songs category. ‘Seasons of Love’ is performed symbolically at the funeral of one of the characters, Angel, by every member of the company, however it’s more about life than death. The famous piano motif that begins the song provides the framework for the cast to sing “525,600 minutes, how do you measure, measure a year?” which repeats multiple times throughout (525,600 minutes being the number of minutes in a common year). Following lyrics conclude the answer to this question… love! You should measure all 525,600 minutes of the year in love, something we all have the ability to experience and embrace.
Using a lyric meant to captures the essence of this show combined with stencilled letting inspired by the blocks of colour associated with this show, this design gives an industrial feel, making it the perfect way to celebrate this much-loved musical!