Adam Pascal is spending his summer at home. The Rent original cast member makes his directorial debut overseeing a production of Rent on Long Island beginning July 28. Just minutes from where Pascal grew up, the Tony nominee helms the Jonathan Larson musical that made him a star at From Stage to Screen Studios in Huntington, Long Island, through July 30.
See the video trailer (created by Andrew Badami) of the production below.
According to the founder of From Stage To Screen, Gene Forman, the idea for Pascal directing Rent came from Pascal spending the summer back home after having finished up his stint playing the lead in the Pretty Woman national tour. As Forman tells Playbill, he suggested that Pascal direct Rent at From Stage To Screen. "He said yes, and I nearly fainted," exclaims Forman. "I have never had to have such a poker face in my life. He was excited about it. We put this whole thing together in six to seven weeks. And it’s been a wonderful experience."
From Stage To Screen is a theatre and an academy that trains around 300 students a year in performance. Forman says that every four years, the students perform Rent as their show. "It's a rite of passage," Forman says, that began in 2010 when Anthony Rapp came to watch rehearsals and attended a performance. Rapp was Pascal's co-star in Rent. "Thirteen years later, Adam’s directing it," Forman marvels. "It’s a little weird how it all played out. We have a spiritual connection to this show."
The production has been much-buzzed-about, not just locally. Over 600 people auditioned for the show. And it also features a live band. "Musicians from everywhere are falling over themselves to get into this show. If you like Rent, this is the place to be this summer," says Forman.
Pascal hand-picked the cast in the show, including Jakeim Hart as Roger. Hart was last seen on Broadway in Almost Famous, and he is playing the role that Pascal played in Rent (Hart is also an alumnus of the program). The students of From Stage To Screen also auditioned for the show and were cast, as well. Though for Forman, in rehearsals, Pascal is humble—even when the performers come up to him to thank him effusively for Rent.
"You’ll catch them pulling him aside to say thank you," says Forman. "And then he offers, 'If you have any questions about the business, I’m always available.' He’s one of the most generous people I’ve encountered in this business. He’s so warm and inclusive and one-to-one, he makes you feel like a million bucks. This show will be amazing because they have his confidence. They’re getting Adam Pascal, and he's directing the show he made famous, and he acts like he was never in it."
Tickets to Rent can be purchased here.