This summer, history will be made in Bend as Shore Thing Productions presents a staged concert version of the TONY winning Broadway musical 1776 with a revolutionary all female cast of twenty-five performers backed by a full orchestra.
Open auditions for all roles, to be performed by women middle school aged & older, are scheduled for February 21 & 22 at Pinckney Center For The Performing Arts at Central Oregon Community College. The production will be presented as a benefit for The Tower Theatre Foundation, a nonprofit that offers a variety of live performances for Central Oregon audiences as well as educational outreach programs through area schools community organizations.
The musical, with a score by Sherman Edwards, features a book by award winning playwright Peter Stone. The powerful story focuses on the heated debates between members of the second Continental Congress in Philadelphia leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
A woman playing Benjamin Franklin? It’s already been done. David Simpson, president of Shore Thing Productions, had read articles about a 2010 concert version of 1776 with an all female cast in Kansas City which had been approved by the musical’s authors for presentation. The idea immediately appealed to him.
“I have always loved the show, but realized that staging it presented challenges, however, felt that the idea of doing it as a concert, particularly with a cast that would showcase the numerous talented women singers in Central Oregon, had great potential,” said Simpson.
1776 will be directed by Kymberli Colbourne with musical direction provided by Tim Russell. Both bring extensive musical theatre experience on off stage to the production. Colbourne, a professional actor/singer/voice over artist has worked with theatrical companies across the country including The National Theatre of the Deaf, Seattle Shakespeare Festival, Book-It Rep, Seattle Children’s Theatre Oregon Cabaret Theatre in Ashl . She has also directed been seen in numerous productions in Central Oregon.
Russell served as choir director at Centennial High School in Gresham for over twenty years before moving to Redmond, is currently a member of the Central Oregon Mastersingers. He has sung with the Bach Festival Choir in Eugene, is a founding member of the Male Ensemble Northwest was the musical director for Cascades Theatrical Company’s recent production of OLIVER.
Simpson concluded by saying, “I am so pleased to have such a talented team to help me present this wonderful production as a benefit for The Tower Theatre Foundation. Now all we need is a cast. I hope that everyone will consider being a part of 1776 either on stage by coming to our auditions or as an audience member at the Tower Theatre this summer. We’re making history!”
www.shorethingproductions.com/1776.html or 541-526-0233.
February 21 & February 22, 7-10pm
Pinckney Center For The Performing Arts @ Central Oregon Community College
REQUIREMENTS: All roles are open to women teen aged through adult. Please bring sheet music be prepared to sing 32-bars of a song of your choice with accompaniment. A pianist will be provided. Scenes from the script will also be provided at the auditions for readings. All roles require singers who are able to harmonize.