The Grove City College Theatre Program presents the hit musical “1776” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31 and Nov. 1 and 2 in Ketler Auditorium of Pew Fine Arts Center on campus.
All performances are free and open to the public. To register for tickets, visit www.gcc.edu/tickets.
“The show is a smart, funny, and very catchy musical that is extremely relevant to our present moment–namely its focus on a split Congress that can’t get anything done,” Tyler Crumrine ’12, director of the musical, said. The Tony Award-winning show, which originally premiered on Broadway in 1969, highlights the work of John Adams and the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Casting the musical presented a challenge, but it had nothing to do with the talent on campus.
“I knew students and I could get excited about working on it, but unfortunately it’s also a show with only two roles for women and 24 roles for men. So instead of letting that limit us, I decided to cast a Congress that better represents our present day,” Crumrine said. “The married couples we keep the same, but the rest of the show I populated via gender-blind casting.”
That means that in addition to the usual female roles of Abigail Adams and Martha Jefferson, women will play some of the founding fathers – or in this case, mothers.
Student Julia Barnes ’20 plays Abigail Adams in the show. “It’s not your typical musical, but as it’s coming together I’m seeing how much value there is in the story,” she said. “Not to mention having so many of our founding fathers played by incredible female actors – that adds a new twist to it all, as well.”
Crumrine agreed that the “dynamics add a whole other layer to an already fantastic show.”
The Theatre Program presents shows throughout the year, with a main stage musical in the fall and a play in the spring. Student-directed shows are featured throughout the year. Students interested in the performing arts can earn a minor in Theatre. All students are welcome to audition for productions or help with stage crew and tech.
“Theater is such a collaborative art and seeing everyone work so hard to make their part the best it can be – onstage or off – is incredibly rewarding,” Barnes said.
Crumrine, who holds a degree in English from the College and is an alum of the Theatre Program, is a professional theatre-maker and dramaturg. His past work has appeared at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Signature Theatre Company, The New York Theatre Workshop, Pittsburgh’s City Theatre Company, Bricolage Production Company and others. He is filling in for English and Theatre Professor Betsy Craig, who is on sabbatical.
For more about Theatre at Grove City College, visit www.gcc.edu/theatre.