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'Rent' Tackles Controversial Topics

The Hatboro-Horsham High School Summer Theatre is staging the play this week.

David Cinque knows he’s going to have some explaining to do.

Cinque, a graduate of La Salle College High School, an all-boys Catholic school, realizes his parents and extended family will be left with a perpetual question mark after seeing his performance playing the lead role i’s Summer Theatre production of “Rent.”

“My grandparents will have a hard time dealing with it," said Cinque, a Penn State University junior "They’re all going to be gasping.”

Written by Jonathan Larson, the rock musical follows a group of young artists who are struggling to get by in New York City. Some are drug addicts and “drag queens,” according to Cinque and “80 percent of the people have AIDS.”

The show’s cast is comprised of 30 individuals ranging in age from 13 to 21, according to the show’s director, Lisa Stunder. Some are Hatboro-Horsham alums, she said, while others are from surrounding communities.

Staging the musical has been in the works for multiple summers, she said. The subject matter is something “we couldn’t get away with in school,” Stunder said.

Regardless of the young ages of some of the cast members, Cinque said, “everybody just gets it.”

"It takes so many controversial topics and it just throws them in your face,” Cinque said. “It forces people to think about AIDS and being poor and unrequited love."

If you go

Hatboro-Horsham High School's Summer Theatre program will stage "Rent" July 26-July 28. Show times are 7:30 p.m. For more on tickets and additional information, check Patch's events calendar listing . 

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