The Mansfield University departments of Theatre and Music present the musical 1776 opening on Thursday, February 21 and running through Sunday, February 24 in Straughn Hall.
This marks the return of the play to the Mansfield stage after 32 years. 1776 was performed by the Mansfield Festival Theater (MFT) for the nation’s Bicentennial in 1976. The Mansfield Festival Theater (MFT) was a summer program that helped bring notable actors to Mansfield University.
“I have been directing shows at Mansfield University for over 20 years and directing overall for 32 years and I have never had the opportunity to direct 1776,” Michael Crum, director and professor of Theatre, said. “I enjoy this show because it is really different. The all male chorus gives the musical a completely different sound.”
Brady Goldsmith, a junior music education major, is playing the role of John Adams, who was not well liked by a majority of men in the Continental Congress. “Adams is somebody who knows what he wants and knows how to get there,” Goldsmith said. “He pushes buttons and can be tuned out sometimes because he likes to ramble.”
During the course of the play, the audience sees a special relationship emerge between John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.
Franklin is played by Scott Test, a junior music education major. “Franklin is a smart aleck and too clever for his own good,” he said. “He definitely tries to balance idealism with realism. Franklin sees Adams as an intelligent person who knows what’s best for the country.”
Becky Eick, a senior history major with a minor in theater arts, is the assistant to the directors for 1776. “1776 has been a learning experience so far,” she said. “It’s interesting to me because of my strong background in history. I’m really glad I get to do something that I love and share it with other people.”
“Our challenge is always the same thing,” Crum said of bringing the production together. “There never seems to be quite enough room on stage. The good news is that we’ve already overcome one of the biggest challenges of the show and that was finding 22 men who can sing.”
To read a synopsis of the show and to listen to a sample of the music, click here.
Members of Continental Congress
Book by Peter Stone
Music by Sherman Edwards
Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
a concept by Sherman Edwards
1776 is produced through special arrangement with MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL New York, NY
Thursday, February 21st 2008 @ 8:00pm
Friday, February 22nd 2008 @ 8:00pm
Saturday, February 23rd 2008 @ 8:00pm
Sunday February 24th 2008 @ 2:00pm
Straughn Auditorium - Mansfield University
Adults - $12
Seniors & Children - $10
MU Students with ID - $2
Tickets available online
or at the door
Directed by Professor Mike Crum
Musically Directed by Dr. Sheryl Monkelien
Designed by Michael Crum
The directors would like to thank the numerous MU students, faculty and staff, alumni, and members of the community for helping to make our productions possible. Not only are they a collaboration between departments, but rather a partnership between Mansfield University, the Borough of Mansfield and the surrounding community.
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