The premiere of Broadway-bound 1776 revival at the American Repertory Theater was postponed following the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, that didn't stop the company from getting together, the production united on Zoom for a developmental workshop. The gender-inclusive production is still on track to open at Broadway's American Airlines Theatre in spring 2021. The production will feature "multiple representations of gender, race, and ethnicity," according to Tony-winning director Diane Paulus.
The company is comprised of Nancy Anderson as George Read, Becca Ayers as Thomas McKean, Tiffani Barbour as Andrew McNair, Allison Blackwell as Robert Livingston, Hannah Cruz as James Wilson, Allyson Kaye Daniel as Abigail Adams and Rev. Jonathan Witherspoon, Elizabeth A. Davis as Thomas Jefferson, Mehry Eslaminia as Charles Thomson, Joanna Glushak as Stephen Hopkins, Shawna Hamic as Richard Henry Lee, Eryn Lecroy as Martha Jefferson and Dr. Lyman Hall, Crystal Lucas-Perry as John Adams, Liz Mikel as John Hancock, Patrena Murray as Benjamin Franklin, Kerry O'Malley as John Dickinson, Oneika Phillips as Joseph Hewes, Lulu Picart as Samuel Chase, Sara Porkalob as Edward Rutledge, Brooke Simpson as Roger Sherman, Salome Smith as the Courier, Sav Souza as Dr. Josiah Bartlett, and Jill Vallery as Caesar Rodney. Grace Stockdale and Imani Pearl Williams are standbys.
"I have been overwhelmed by the compassion, humanity, and unstoppable creativity expressed by our company of 1776 who have come together from across the country for our virtual workshop. Their resilience has infused me with hope for the future of theater amid this time of uncertainty. “As we embark on our journey together on this production, we find ourselves reckoning with our country's history, reexamining the pivotal moment of our nation’s founding portrayed in 1776 — the writing of the Declaration of Independence, a ‘promissory note,’ that, in Martin Luther King’s words ‘America has defaulted on.’ Our cast includes multiple representations of gender, race, and ethnicity that allow this revival of 1776 to more broadly reflect today’s America, our America . “As artists, we are embracing our American history as a human predicament and are committed to the process of learning from the past in order to move forward together.” – Diane Paulus, Director of 1776 / Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director
Featuring a book by Peter Stone and a score by Sherman Edwards, the Paulus directed revival was set to initially play the A.R.T. this spring, followed by pre-Broadway engagements in Los Angeles, Houston, and Denver. The Cambridge run has been pushed to the 2020–2021 season, with no word yet on exact dates. The production will feature choreography by Jeffrey L. Page, sets by Scott Pask, costumes by Emilio Sosa, lighting design by Jennifer Schriever, sound design by Jonathan Deans, projections by David Bengali, music supervision by David Chase, vocal design by AnnMarie Milazzo, and orchestrations by John Clancy.