High School Performance of RENT On, But Pushed Back

By Josh Chapin
|  Thursday, Dec 12, 2013  |  Updated 8:25 AM EDT
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Students at Trumbull High School will be able to perform the Broadway hit, RENT, despite controversy surrounding it, but when it will go on has upset some parents and students.

Students at Trumbull High School will be able to perform the Broadway hit, RENT, despite controversy surrounding it, but when it will go on has upset some parents and students.

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Students at Trumbull High School will be able to perform the Broadway hit, RENT, despite controversy surrounding it, but when it will go on has upset some parents and students.

The show was originally scheduled for March, but will now happen in late April or May.

Parents and students who claim school leaders knowingly pushed it back to a date that will make it difficult for students to participate packed the Trumbull Board of Education meeting last night and insisted that Rent should go on when it was originally scheduled.

"Our daughter will be traveling with the chorus troupe abroad to England, which is in April, so that really cuts out a lot of the rehearsal time," said Gina Gallo, a parent of a 15-year-old.

Parents said they were originally told the play was going to be canceled, but administrators claim that was never the case. They also said they did not push the date back to make it difficult for students to participate.

Principal Marc Guarino said he needed the extra days to prepare students for the difficult issues.

Rent deals with tough topics, including HIV/AIDS, drug addiction and homosexuality and students feel they can handle the subject matter.

Gabrielle Tropp, a sophomore at Trumbull High School, said she feels it is not too sophisticated.

The themes "were things that we learned about in health class or we see in the world around us.

It's really something you can't live day to day without encountering," she said.

"It's frustrating to me that he didn't feel we could do this by ourselves," Tropp added.

Tropp's mother Lauren agreed.

"I think there was no need for the controversy in the first place and the show was perfectly appropriate," Lauren Tropp said.

The Board of Education did not make a decision on when the performance would happen, but students and parents said they want the show to happen on its original date.

Gabrielle Tropp said she'll be studying for AP exams during the new proposed timeline.

"I know that I'll be studying and I won't be worrying about Rent," she said.

"I had spent hours reading the script, researching things and doing all sorts of work preparing," Tropp added.

Some parents said Guarino had the best interests of all Trumbull High School students in mind.

The controversy prompted on online petition and nearly 1,500 people signed it to support the play.

Students said they'll be meeting with the principal on Thursday about the possibility of moving the show back up to March.

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