“1776” dramatizes the efforts of national icons John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to convince members of the second Continental Congress to bring forward a resolution for independence that will eventually set America free from England’s tyranny. Filled with history, humor, heart and romance, “1776” brings a human element to the founding fathers through an incredible score and award-winning script.
“I believe ‘1776’ becomes more relevant every day,” said director Mickey Tennenbaum. “Although the events of the story take place over 200 years ago, the attempts at getting a revolutionary idea through a divided Congress will resonate with modern day audiences. We need a John Adams today who, through persistence and determination, can unify a divided country and make us see the advantages in unity.”
The cast features Eric Elson as John Adams, Emily Upton as Abigail Adams, Nick Manna as Benjamin Franklin, Albert Nelthropp as John Dickinson, Kellen Gaughan as Thomas Jefferson, Sammy Quinn as Martha Jefferson, Scott Hoke as John Hancock, Gabriel Trimbur as Dr. Josiah Bartlett, Brett Miller as Stephen Hopkins, Zack Blanchette as Roger Sherman, Michael Luszczak as Lewis Morris, Joseph Cowdrey as Robert Livingston, Jonah Hale as Andrew McNair, Garrett Toole as Rev. Jonathan Witherspoon, David Dines as James Wilson, Michael Motkowskias Caesar Rodney, Liam Abate as Col. Thomas McKean, Kolten Bell as George Read, Troy Rood as Samuel Chase, Rob Gallo Richard Henry Lee, Robert Fischetti as Joseph Hewes, Matthew Healey as Edward Rutledge,Zach Norris as Dr. Lyman Hall, Justin Flores as Charles Thomson,DeVonté Mccray as Painter, and Tyler Ross as the Courier. Bill Wetherbeeis the male swing.
The production team includes Mickey Tennenbaum (Director), Matt Hosmer (Music Director), Carissa Bellando (Choreographer), Brian T Sharron (Scenic Design), Fan Zhang (Costume Design), Angie Johnson (Hair and Makeup Design), Vicki Neal (Lighting Design), Richard Kroth(Sound Design), Brighid Deangelis (Associate Costume Design), Joanna Catalano (Associate Hair/Makeup Design), Phill Hickox (Production Manager), Kaitlyn Bradway (Technical Director), and Anabel Caba(Production Stage Manager).
Produced by Stuart Ostrow and directed by Peter Hunt, “1776” premiered on Broadway on March 16, 1969, and ran for 1,217 performances. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, the original cast included William Daniels, Howard da Silva, Ron Holgate, Ken Howard and Betty Buckley. Warner Brothers produced the 1972 movie version, which featured seven members of the original Broadway cast reprising their roles on screen.
On Thursday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. in Spiro Hall Room 2, Wagner College Theatre will hold 30-minute pre-show discussion of “1776” with Q&A, focusing on John and Abigail Adams, featuring Wagner College government professor Patricia Moynagh and “1776” director Mickey Tennenbaum. The program is free and open to everyone.
The WCT production of “1776” will run Oct. 5-8 and Oct. 12-15. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Wagner College Theatre box office, on the first floor of Main Hall, can be contacted at (718) 390-3259 or www.wagner.edu/theatre. Box office hours are Monday through Friday from 12 to 4 p.m. Single ticket prices: Thursday evenings $25–$29, Fridays, Saturdays, and Matinees $28–$32, with price ranges for children, senior and adult tickets. Wagner College students attend free with current ID.