The show must go on. Never has that expression been more tested than with the trials and tribulations of Rafferty Falls High School’s production of a nudist reinterpretation of the Tony-Award winning musical Rent. The proposal was initially met with resistance from the PTA, due to the musical’s mature subject matter, but the proposal’s creativity swayed the hearts and minds of Rafferty Falls parents association, and the show was greenlit. The high school, having only integrated in 2019, was looking for a community-building production that the student body could rally behind. Principal O’Shaughnessy proposed that spreading the message that under their clothes Irishmen and Swedes are not all that different, and that both Irishmen and Swedes can contract HIV, will foster a cohesive and accepting high school community.

Unfortunately, sailing was not smooth for the creative team, as budget issues soon arose, and production was halted one again. Despite the hours of practice that the artistic hopefuls put into rehearsals, the title soon became ironic as the theater department was unable to even rent a set. Luckily, town hero and Olympic gold medalist Ryan O’Halloran stepped in and offered to fund the production out of his own, deep but unsuspicious pockets. Students at Rafferty Falls High have voiced their appreciation and plan to express their utmost gratitude to the O’Halloran Puppery CEO by inviting him to speak at opening night on February 28th and receive an honorary G.E.D. 

Rent will be showing through March 7 in the Rafferty Falls High auditorium. Director Truman Pipestem is currently in talks with a legal team regarding a chest-up recording of the performance for out-of-town family members and theater enthusiasts worldwide.

—C. Rose