'1776' to open Thursday at Putnam County Playhouse

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The 55th season of Putnam County Playhouse continues with a production of "1776," opening Thursday, Aug. 11 at the Hazel Day Longden Barn Theatre in Greencastle.

The musical runs Aug. 11-13 and Aug. 17-20.

Tickets are $10 and can be reserved by calling the box office at 653-5880 from 5-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Hoisting up wife Martha Jefferson (played by Sarah Bond), Thomas Jefferson (Lee Reberger) still manages to confer with fellow Founding Fathers Ben Franklin (Ric McFadden, left) and John Adams (Joe Buser) in a scene from the Putnam County Playhouse production of "1776." The musical opens its seven-show run at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Hazel Day Longden Barn Theatre in Greencastle. Shows continue this Friday and Saturday and again Aug. 17-20. Limited seats are available at the box office by stopping by 5-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday or by calling 653-5880. Tickets are $10. Banner Graphic/ERIC BERNSEE

The cast is led by Joe Buser as John Adams, Ric McFadden as Ben Franklin and Lee Reberger as Thomas Jefferson.

They are joined by Josh Bain as conservative John Dickenson, Chris Wurster as Col. Thomas McKean and Michael McClaine as president of the Continental Congress, John Hancock.

Director is Shelly McFadden. Vocal direction is by Kathryn Dory.

Pit conductor and pianist is Marilyn Burdsall Rush. Also in the pit are Dedee Schwomeyer, percussion; Marcia Boswell, woodwinds; and Morgan Asher, keyboard.

Linda Gjesvold designed the set and choreography is by Deb Grammel. Assistant director is Katie Wallace. Costumer and wig designer is Diana Van Middlesworth.

First National Bank is corporate sponsor for the production.

The musical "1776" relates the story of the writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Founding Fathers are seen as real men and not the one-dimensional characters usually found in history books.

The distaff side is represented by Caroline Good as Abigail Adams and Sarah Bond as Martha Jefferson.

The large cast also includes Gary Van Middlesworth as Richard Henry Lee, Dustin Bond as Edward Rutledge, Don Wilson as Stephen Hopkins.

Other members of the Congress are played by Matt Schneider, Clarence Long, Jacob Riggen, Andrew Ranck, Michael Nowling, Jim Rambo, Lance Clodfelter, Jacob Glidden, Brian Howard, Bill Cole and Jack Randall Earles.

Appearing in supporting roles are Scott Armitage, Joe Lippard, Alex Asbell and Donovan Asbell.

Also working on the technical side are Jessica Masner, stage manager; Samantha Flannelly, sound board operator; Melissa Green, light board operator; and Cameron Wunderlich and Sarah Nowling as spotlight operators.

The musical originally opened on Broadway and was nominated for five Tony Awards. It won three including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Featured Actor (Ron Holgate, who played Richard Henry Lee).

The 55th season of Putnam County Playhouse productions will end with the comedy "The Odd Couple (Female Version)" staged Sept. 8-10 and 14-17.

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