History and music meet in spring play 1776
It was a rousing, patriotic experience at this year’s spring play. The seminarians of Sacred Heart will be performing 1776, a musical based on the events and the colorful characters surrounding the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The dates of the performances were Friday, March 21, with two performances on Saturday, March 22, to accommodate the ever-increasing attendance at these annual productions (this is the
fifth in a row after a twenty-year hiatus).
1776 was held in Sacred Heart’s vintage 500-seat auditorium, with attendance for the weekend at around 1,300-practically a full house for each performance. No tickets were required, but the seminarians accepted freewill donations. They will apply the funds to replacing outdated stage equipment, including purchasing new curtains.
Seminarians—forty in all—acted the parts of 1776 except one, that of Abigail Adams (she played one of the two female parts in last year's production of Oliver!, too. Thank you, Grace!). The men really cam
e together as a team to handle the direction, scenery construction, light board operation, publicity, videography, and ushering. They even play some of the orchestra instruments.
The original Broadway production of 1776 was so popular that it ran for 1,217 consecutive performances. It won a Tony Award for best musical of 1969. Director Brian Meldrum and assistant director Matthe Hood nonetheless gave the performance a "fund, new interpretation." They devised an elaborate lighting plot for the Independence Hall setting and constructed five podiums as uniqe state props to adapt the musical to the limitations of the stage dimensions.
"Countless hours and many hands" went into the production of 1776, says Meldrum. Speaking for the entire cast and crew, he believes "from all of this, we have received countless blessings and many, many graces."
Do you have a heart for the theater? Would like to help the seminarians upgrade their stage equipment? Give Maria Jerome of Sacred Heart's development office a call, 313-883-8559 or firstname.lastname@example.org.