How Artists Survive a Pandemic: Boston Conservatory at Berklee Pays 'Rent'

The groundbreaking musical, currently celebrating its 25-year anniversary, runs April 7–10

March 28, 2022

Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s spring Center Stage series continues with the Pulitzer Prize– and Tony Award–winning rock musical Rent. Performances will take place in person at Boston Conservatory Theater from Thursday, April 7 through Sunday, April 10.

Written by Jonathan Larson, who is the subject of the Academy Award–nominated 2021 film Tick, Tick…Boom!, the rock musical follows a community of struggling actors, dancers, and musicians who live and die in the shadow of HIV/AIDS during the 1990s in New York. 

Produced by Boston Conservatory, which ranks among the top musical theater schools in the world, Rent is music directed by theater professor David Pepin, and directed and choreographed by Boston Conservatory at Berklee Herb Albert Visiting Professor Rickey Tripp.

Tripp is an award-winning performer, educator, and choreographer. His Broadway credits as a performer include Hamilton: An American Musical, Motown: The Musical, and the original cast of the Tony Award–winning musical In the Heights. He is on the faculty at R.Evolución Latina and has more than 20 years of experience teaching at the Broadway Dance Center and master classes at colleges nationwide. As a choreographer, his credits include Dreamgirls, Cabin in the Sky, Fly: A New Musical, A Winter's Tale, Hairspray, and The Wiz. Tripp was associate choreographer for Jesus Christ Superstar Live with John Legend on NBC, Choir Boy at Manhattan Theatre Club, and Once on This Island on Broadway. 

Pepin is the music supervisor of the current 25th anniversary national “farewell tour” of Rent. He joined Boston Conservatory’s theater faculty in 2021, following 15 years working in the Broadway community as a music director, conductor, and pianist for productions such as Wicked, Bring It On: The Musical, Kinky Boots, The Addams Family, and Shrek the Musical. 

“Rent completely changed the American musical, and Rickey and Dave are creating an exciting new interpretation with our students,” said Scott Edmiston, dean of theater for Boston Conservatory at Berklee. “Larson brought the stories of a new generation to Broadway and innovatively united the feeling of a musical and a rock concert. It was also pioneering in its depiction of LGBTQ love stories onstage. Set during an earlier pandemic when daily life became more precious and unpredictable, its themes are very resonant right now. ”

Rent will be presented at Boston Conservatory Theater, located at 31 Hemenway Street in Boston, Massachusetts, at 8:00 p.m. from Thursday, April 7 through Saturday, April 10, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 11. Tickets are $25 to $30 for regular seating; $20 to $25 for senior citizens, Conservatory alumni, WGBH members; and $15 to $20 for non-Berklee students. Learn more and purchase tickets here.

About Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Theater Division

The Boston Conservatory at Berklee Theater Division aspires to a new model of contemporary theater education for students to create their own distinct path to being a theater artist. We educate students to develop a personalized performance technique and define their own unique artistic identity. In our classrooms and on our stages, we celebrate authenticity, advocate for diversity in all forms, and promote art as a path to social justice. Through curricular innovation and experiential learning, we prepare tomorrow’s theater artists for creative lives, sustainable careers, and artistic revolutions yet to be imagined. Learn more about Boston Conservatory’s Theater Division and programs at