May 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 2018

America's Prize Winning Musical
Music and Lyrics by SHERMAN EDWARDS

directed by Jason Gross

The seminal event in American history blazes to vivid life in this most unconventional of Broadway hits. 1776 puts a human face on the pages of history as we see the men behind the national icons: proud, frightened, uncertain, irritable, charming, often petty and ultimately noble figures, determined to do the right thing for a fledgling nation.

It's the summer of 1776, and the nation is ready to declare independence... if only our founding fathers can agree to do it! 1776 follows John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia as they attempt to convince the members of the Second Continental Congress to vote for independence from the shackles of the British monarchy by signing the Declaration of Independence.  1776 is a funny, insightful and compelling drama with a striking score and legendary book.

Director's Bio:



Jason has been a member of the Springfield area arts community since before he was born. His mother, Joann, was a local artist and she and his father, Richard, were the owners of Art Center/Frames Unlimited. Jason began taking dance lessons at the age of 10 with Grace Nanavati at Dance Arts Studio and appeared in his first production of Springfield Ballet Company's “ The Nutcracker” shortly after. Jason spent the next 7 years dancing with SBC and was the first male member of the company. He attended Alabama School of Fine Arts for ballet. Jason performed in “Funny Girl” at Muni in 1984 where he met his wife, Dorothy.  Other productions include: STC's productions of “A Chorus Line” in 1985 (Mark) and again in 2017 (Zach); and “A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine”. After a long absence from Springfield, Jason directed his first show “Spring Awakening” at The Legacy. He also has experience behind the stage working as a sound technician for several local bands; stage hand at Sangamon Auditorium; was the assistant technical director at both SIU Edwardsville and Lewis and Clark Community College; and was the lighting technician for “The Drowsy Chaperone” at The Legacy. Jason says he looks forward to doing more directing and is excited to be working with his wife and his daughter, Rachel, on this production. Jason works as a full-time paramedic with America Ambulance in Springfield. He dedicates this show to his mother who taught him to believe that everyone has the right to be free and express themselves in whatever manner makes them happiest.



John Adams (MA): Will Barnhart

Thomas Jefferson (VA): Danny Lee

Benjamin Franklin (PA): Bill Zorn

Richard Henry Lee (VA): Levi Clark

Edward Rutledge (SC): Wes Bridges

Roger Sherman (CT): Andy Van De Voort

Lewis Morris (NY): Richard Weaver

Robert Livingston (NY): Sean-Edward Hall

John Dickinson (PA): Alex Pryor

John Hancock: Mark Anderson

Stephen Hopkins (RI):  Dave Shafer

Dr. Josiah Bartlett (NH): Chris Schmidt

Rev. Jonathan Witherspoon (NJ): Marty Morris

James Wilson (PA): Brian Hendricks

Caesar Rodney (DE): Don Schneider

Col. Thomas McKean (DE): Andrew Miller

George Read (DE): Will Decker

Samuel Chase (MD): Scott Wilhelm

Joseph Hewes (NC): Tim Perdue

Dr. Lyman Hall (GA): Dennis Killen

Charles Thomson (Secretary of the Continental Congress): Keith Wilson

Andrew McNair (Custodian): Jim Hepworth

Abigail Adams: Stephanie Soltermann

Martha Jefferson: Brooke Seacrist

A Painter/Leather Apron: Gabe Woodruff

A Courier: Levi Clark

McNair's Assistant/Orphan:  Matthew Clark