Casting Complete for Guthrie's 1776

News   Casting Complete for Guthrie's 1776
Complete casting has been announced for the Guthrie's upcoming production of the Tony-winning musical 1776, which will begin previews at the Minneapolis venue June 23 with an official opening June 29.
Peter Michael Goetz will play Benjamin Franklin in 1776.
Peter Michael Goetz will play Benjamin Franklin in 1776.

Directed by John Miller-Stephany, the musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence will play a limited engagement through Aug. 26.

Heading the cast will be Michael Thomas Holmes as John Adams, Peter Michael Goetz as Benjamin Franklin, Tyson Forbes as Thomas Jefferson and Richard White as Richard Henry Lee. The company will also feature Robert O. Berdahl (Robert Livingston), Bob Beverage (Caesar Rodney), Raye Birk (Stephen Hopkins), Michael Booth (Rev. John Witherspoon), Mark Bradley (a Painter), Elizabeth Broadhurst (Martha Jefferson), Philip Callen (Dr. Lyman Hall), Sean Michael Dooley (a Leather Apron), Wayne A. Evenson (Samuel Chase), Dan Foss (Roger Sherman), Bradley Greenwald (Edward Rutledge), Jon Andrew Hegge (Charles Thomson), Norah Long (Abigail Adams), Robb McKindles (Joseph Hewes), Lee Mark Nelson (John Dickinson), James Ramlet (Col. Thomas McKean), Mark Rosenwinkel (Andrew McNair), Brian Skellenger (Courier), Brian Sostek (James Wilson), Vern Sutton (Lewis Morris), Peter Thomson (John Hancock), Tony Vierling (Dr. Josiah Bartlett) and Jon Whittier (George Read).

1776, according to press notes, "brings to life the creation and signing of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the remarkable personalities of the men and women who made it happen. John Adams (Holmes) is 'obnoxious and disliked' by the other delegates in the Continental Congress, but he dreams of American independence from British rule. With the help of the witty Benjamin Franklin (Goetz), the quiet but passionate Thomas Jefferson (Forbes) and the boastful Richard Henry Lee (White), Adams conspires to turn the Congress from its usual 'piddling' and 'twiddling' toward the approval of the courageous document that will define the American Revolution."

The creative team also includes Andrew Cooke (musical director/conductor), James Sewell (choreographer), James Youmans (set designer), Mathew J. LeFebvre (costume designer), Donald Holder (lighting designer), Scott W. Edwards (sound designer), Jo Holcomb (dramaturg), Kate Burke (speech and dialect coach), Martha Kulig (stage manager), Jason Clusman (assistant stage manager) and Sarah Gioia (assistant director).

1776, based on the arguments and politics involved in the signing of the Declaration of Independence, opened on Broadway in March 1969, playing 1,217 performances before closing Feb. 13, 1972. With a score by Sherman Edwards and a book by Peter Stone, the original cast featured William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Betty Buckley, David Ford, Ronald Holgate, Ken Howard and Virginia Vestoff. Peter H. Hunt directed the 1972 film, which featured many of the original Broadway cast members, including Daniels, Da Silva and Howard. Directed by Scott Ellis, a 1997 revival for the Roundabout Theatre Company starred Tom Aldredge, Michael Cumpsty, Dashiell Eaves, Gregg Edelman, Pat Hingle, Linda Emond, Merwin Foard, Brent Spiner, Paul Michael Valley and Lauren Ward. Tickets, priced $27-$57, are available by calling (612) 377-2224. For more information visit

Set designer James Youmans' model for <i>1776</i>.
Set designer James Youmans' model for 1776. Photo by Lee Henderson
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