Nina Kaufman and Nellie Glover star in the Towson University production of Rent where they play Maureen and Mimi. They talked to Her Campus Towson about the experience.
Rent, Towson’s Theatre Department’s latest production, is a story about many things. It tells about drug use, AIDs, friendship, and relationships. Most importantly though, it is a story about love. The love we have for each other and the world around us. Two of the shows major stars, Nina Kaufman and Nellie Glover, encompass the major theme of the play, love.
Nina and Nellie, who play Maureen and Mimi respectively, couldn’t be any more different than the characters they portray. Nina, a soft-spoken sweet sophomore and theatre arts acting major, is a stark contrast from the rambunctious out-spoken Maureen. Nellie, whose vibrant and comedic personality is far from the vivacious and flirtatious Mimi, is a senior theatre arts acting major as well.
“Mimi is so opposite from me,” Nellie said. “Mimi is kind of an extrovert and very sexual. I got to explore a rare side of myself. It felt good and I felt free.”
Mimi is a 19 year old who is a drug addict and a stripper. Maureen is a bisexual, out-spoken performance artist.
Nellie Glover as “Mimi” in Towson University’s Production of “Rent”
Nina said that her experience playing Maureen has also exposed her to a very different side of herself.
“I had to be with a women, which is something I’ve never done before,” she said. “Maureen’s relationship with her partner Joanne (who is played by Skye Pollard) is very touchy feely. Skye has been very respectful and very sensitive. It has been a good experience.”
Nina Kaufman, with Skye Pollard, in “Rent“
The characters in Rent also have to deal with very challenging topics. Death, AIDs, and rampant drug use are explored in the play.
To prepare for the role as a drug addict and stripper, Nellie used various methods to try to relate to the character of Mimi.
“I went to a strip club,” she said. “I talked to some of them. They were really nice girls. They were just trying to pay for school and take care of their families.”
In addition to going to a strip club, Nellie took pole dancing classes and learned about drug use by watching documentaries.
“I really had to try to get over the fear,” she said. “I needed to find something to relate to my character because she is so opposite of me. She is dealing with these things I won’t go near.”
Both Nina and Nellie expressed how the cast supported each other throughout the process to make the experience for the audience as amazing as possible.
“The cast is incredible,” Nina said. “They are such beautiful people. I can’t hold back around them. We are always together.”
Nellie also said that the relationships she has created with the cast always keeps the show new and interesting.
“We all really support each other,” she said. “Everyone is funny and clicks. It could get stale, but it doesn’t because we are able to keep peeling layers back from each other to keep it interesting.”
The whole cast of “Rent” at Towson University
Nellie and Nina both want to pursue a career in the arts. Though they are unsure about which path they will take and where that will led them, they both said that the show has taught them so much about life.
“You never know when the last moment is,” Nellie said. “Live every day like it’s your last.”
Throughout the experience Nina and Nellie said they have discovered the meaning pf life.
“Love, love, love, love,” Nellie said. “Love each other. Be good to others and be good to yourself.”
Photo Credit: Jay Herzog