Actor Anthony Rapp of Rent fame will speak on campus on Wednesday, May 21, at an event sponsored by Rainbow Alliance, said Jessica Kaiser, the group’s co-president, on Wednesday. Rapp will speak at 8 p.m. in Harris 107. The event is free for all Northwestern students, faculty and staff.
Rapp starred as Mark Cohen in the original Broadway production and the film version of Rent. He’ll be the keynote speaker for the Rainbow Alliance’s Rainbow Week and will give a master class on audition techniques on Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Josephine Louis Theater.
“[Rapp] is a self-identified queer, and he’s hugely successful in his career,” said Kaiser, a Weinberg junior. “We thought he was a good role model for LGBT and allied people because he shows you can live openly and be true to yourself as a LGBT person, be true to your interests and passions, and be very successful.”
Rainbow Week is meant to be the culmination of the group’s activities on campus each year, and will involve discussions, presentations and panels on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. In the past, Rainbow Alliance has brought smaller-name speakers such as bisexual activist Robyn Ochs, but the choice of Rapp was meant to be more accessible to the Northwestern community, Kaiser said.
Besides Rent, Rapp has appeared in films such as A Beautiful Mind and Dazed and Confused. In 2006, he wrote a Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical, which discusses his experiences with Rent.