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‘Follow your dreams’ at the heart of musical by composer of Rent

March 17th, 2023

Detail of tick, tick... BOOM! poster

Bethel's music and theater departments present “tick, tick... BOOM!” by Jonathan Larson, Friday-Sunday, March 24-26, in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.

Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday's is at 2 p.m. Friday evening's performance will be interpreted for the d/Deaf community.

Tickets are on sale at Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center, weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (credit card orders at 316-284-5205), or online any time at

Tickets are $11.50 for adults, $8.50 for seniors and non-Bethel students, and $3.50 for Bethel students.

The musical contains adult language and themes and is not intended for young audiences.

The Friday evening (March 24) performance will be interpreted for the d/Deaf community.

Before there was Rent, there was tick, tick… BOOM! 

Jonathan Larson is best known as the composer of Rent, a rock musical that premiered in 1996 only hours after Larson died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm. Rent went on to win a Pulitzer Prize and three Tony Awards.

However, Larson also wrote tick, tick… BOOM!, which he completed in 1991.

It tells the story of an aspiring composer named Jon, who lives in SoHo, New York, in 1990, worried he has made the wrong career choice in the performing arts.

The original musical has 14 songs and 10 characters played by three actors – four in the Bethel production – along with a band.

In tick, tick… BOOM!, Jon’s girlfriend, Susan, wants to get married and move out of the city, his best friend, Michael, is making big bucks on Madison Avenue, and Jon is still waiting tables and trying to write the Great American Musical.

Larson began to perform the piece as a solo work in 1990. After his death in 1996, it was revised and revamped by playwright David Auburn as a three-actor piece, premiering off-Broadway in 2001.

Netflix released a film adaptation, directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and starring Andrew Garfield as Jon, in November 2021.

Bethel’s production of tick, tick… BOOM! is being directed by guest director and Bethel graduate Katie Schmidt, with technical direction by Damon Klassen and musical direction by Henry Waters.

The cast is Hayden Honomichl, junior from Great Bend, as Jon; Emily Guldner, junior from Independence, Mo., as Susan and others; Tristan England, sophomore from Pretty Prairie, as Michael and others; and Josué Coy Dick, sophomore from North Newton, as Other others.

The band is Christina Liu, keyboard, Kim Trujillo, percussion, David Sewell, guitar, and Jordan Bollig, bass.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #14 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges,” and #24 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of “Best Regional Colleges Midwest,” both for 2022-23. Bethel is the only Kansas college or university to be named a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center. For more information, see

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.