RENT CONTROLLED explores gentrification, income inequality & racism by asking: what is the true cost of living in today’s changing cities? While these heavier themes are very important to us, so is the levity of laughter. Supporting this project means you support funny things & meaningful things!
Inclusion StatementThis is the story of three hard-working, Latinx siblings who can no longer afford to live in the only city they’ve ever called home. Our satirical tale strives to make every viewer walk away considering, “how do I fit into this narrative of gentrification & changing socioeconomic landscapes?"
About The Project
For many, the first of every month is a painful reminder that our lives are controlled by a single, unyielding entity – the landlord.
Living in any major city in America means shelling out huge amounts, sometimes up to 80% of our monthly incomes, just to have a place to crash. As the disparity between normal/working class people and rich people continues to grow, so does the cost of living in just about every place that anyone wants to live.
What does this mean for those of us who grew up in places like Brooklyn, Manhattan, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and (insert any US city here)? It means we better get used to Starbucks, Yogurtland and Chase Bank. It means the people that made Brooklyn and San Francisco coveted cultural and artistic hubs can no longer afford to live here.
All that reality aside, what would you be willing to do to score an affordable living situation in a city you loved? Have you ever known anyone in NYC who had rent control? When you found out was it followed by the statement, “I would do anything for a $400 one-bedroom.” Morality gets real malleable when the words rent control are uttered in any social setting in NYC.
At the intersection of moral ambiguity and rising rent costs is our film,
The three Torres siblings are born-and-bred Brooklynites all priced out of their hometown.
So, what are these three displaced New Yorkers willing to do for rent control?
Meet the Characters
Mary Claire Garcia as RUBY TORRES
Of the Torres siblings, Ruby is the oldest in age and youngest at heart – a heart that lays bleeding and exposed on her sleeve. With both parents gone, Ruby acts as sister-mom to her two younger (adult) siblings. A perpetual peacemaker and keeper, Ruby often fights battles that are worth losing – hence a track record of shitty boyfriends and jobs.
Lys Perez as STELLA TORRES
Stella is an equal opportunity lover and offender. Her vaginART is as loud and unapologetic as she is. Her paintings have developed a niche, cult following among other self-taught, feminist outsider artists, though they haven’t developed a following that actually pays for feminist, outsider art. The early death of both her parents has inspired Stella to live with little to no regard for how her words or actions impact her past or future. She swears and asks for money often.
Israel López as JACKSON TORRES
If Jackson could get out of his own way (and stop smoking so much weed) he’d be a formidable force. Instead he works 40 hours a week at Best Buy in Union Square and lives in his best friend’s walk-in closet. Jackson strongly identifies with his Mexican heritage and is the only one of his siblings who speaks fluent Español. Jackson strives to find the “truth” underlying everything and if he wasn’t so high he just might do something about one of his many causes – most involving the U.S. governments not-so-subtle role in oppressing people- of- color.
Michelle Holmes as ANITA MANNING
Anita was BFF’s with the Torres’s grandmother, Betty, (from their white Mom’s side). Though she was fond of the Torre’s mother Margaret, she never approved of Margaret’s decision to marry and have three children with a Mexican. Anita learned how to channel her love of words and hate for everything else as a young woman -- becoming a journalist for a daily rag called The Conservative Post. Unabashedly racist, homophobic, classist, sexist and every other –ist, Anita’s advice column has become a bit of a NYC holy-shit-can-you-believe-what-she- wrote kind of literary legend.
Nora Garrett as KAITLIN CONNORS
Kaitlin found spiritual awakening at Soulcycle and has been “totally woke” ever since.Though she lived for a few years in the West Village while in law school, Kaitlin moved to Williamsburg two years ago because she loved the idea of living somewhere with a “Brooklyn vibe.” She didn’t realize until after moving there that Williamsburg is in Brooklyn. Kaitlin doesn’t practice law and is considering going back to school for business – though she’s not yet sure what kind of business. She dreams of one day having a lifestyle website as influential as GOOP.
Joshua Triplett as LUKE MORGAN
Luke grew up on a childhood diet of superfluous privilege and praise. It’s not so much that Luke doesn’t understand the word ‘no, it’s just he’s never really heard it. Luke considers himself a great musical talent on the brink of being the next big indie hit. Until then, it’s just not possible for him to have another job. He’s too busy thinking about his music while drinking at the bar downstairs. He was initially attracted to Ruby because she was so “real” (she has a job). And also hot. Now he feels like Ruby’s realness is harshing his vibe.
Beyoncé as BEYONCÉ
Lovie is Kaitlin's dog child and is allergic to smoke (including vape pens).
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About This Team
The Rent Controlled cast and crew is a multi-ethnic, diverse group of creative misfits, each committed to inspiring change through art, laughter and representation.
How does everybody know eachother?
Kate and Sara met at CBS Television Studios.
Ari, Kate, Megan & Malik all used to work at United Talent Agency together.
Ari and Logan met in college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kate also went there but never met them until she moved to LA!
Logan looped in the amazing Kyler, Daga & Chad!
Kate met Chris through WIMPS.
Megan is friends with Nicole and Angela.
And this is only SOME of the RENT CONTROLLED family. <3 We are so lucky to work with each and every one of these people. Not to mention the cast! Not to mention our star: BEYONCE the pup!