Grady Thespians' Production of RENT Stirs the Soul of MetroFresh's Mitchell Anderson
Mitchell Anderson, owner of MetroFresh, an accomplished actor and restauranteur, had this to say after his attendance at Grady High School's spring musical theatre production of RENT.
I expect, however, it was organically achieved by the artistic guidance of Jake Dreiling - a regular MetroFreshual, and Grady Drama Teacher. He's been grooming these kids for seven years now, and boy, does it show. I was so proud to be their neighbor!
RENT, if you don't know, is a very difficult and emotionally challenging musical. The idea that a high school would tackle a show that contains pretty intense themes of sexuality, AIDS, drug addition, life, death and art, is simply astounding. The administrators and parents of Grady ought to be commended that, in the year 2014, they gave the go-ahead for a play like this.
When I was in high school the most challenging subject matter we tackled was the relatively tame racism of SOUTH PACIFIC. These kids took on the afformentioned subject matter without seeming to blink an eye. Jake told me that when he asked them how they felt about portraying gay characters, most them looked at him like he was crazy and said, "Why wouldn't we?" My, how times have changed.
This speaks well of the school, the parenting in our amazingly diverse neighborhood, and, frankly, the fact we're two decades into the 21st century when these issues, for most people, are just not issues at all.
I won't go on too much further, but I believe Jake has a couple of stars in the making over there on Charles Allen Dr. Of particular note were Carter Guensler and James Winer, who just totally got to me as Tom Collins and Angel. They were so honest and real, it was as though they'd been on that stage since birth!
But honestly, the whole company, from the leads to the ensemble, were just completely present. And that's the best thing you can say! So congratulations to our friends in the Grady Drama Department! Good show!
Grady High School proudly supports the arts and the all-star faculty that lead these young actors in their endeavors. Bravo!!