Heritage Theatre Festival to Present Historical Musical '1776'; Auditions Jan. 22

January 12, 2012

January 12, 2012 – Heritage Theatre Festival will help celebrate an important Charlottesville milestone this summer by reviving one of the most popular historical musicals of all time.

The festival will present the Tony Award-winning musical "1776" from June 21 to 30 at the Culbreth Theatre. The production, directed by the festival's producing artistic director, Robert Chapel, is part of a special "Celebrate 250" partnership with the city of Charlottesville to honor the 250th anniversary of Charlottesville's founding.

"We are delighted to be partnering with the city of Charlottesville and 'Celebrate 250' to deliver a fun and unique way to celebrate not only the Fourth of July, but also to help mark a historic milestone for our city,' Chapel said.

Due to ongoing construction of the new Ruth Caplin Theatre, "1776" will be Heritage's only production this summer. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale in early June through the U.Va. Arts Box Office. For more information, visit the festival website.

"1776" has delighted audiences from around the world for more than 40 years. Set against the backdrop of the impending American Revolution, the show uses quick-witted dialogue and a playful score to dramatize the impassioned debates of Philadelphia's Second Continental Congress. With Gen. George Washington providing dispatches from the military front, patriots John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson are hard at work persuading the 13 colonies to make the fateful leap to separate from British rule. Inspired by letters and memoirs of these Founding Fathers, this classic is at once a lighthearted and stirring tribute to American principles, pride and determination.

Auditions for "1776" will be held Jan. 22, from 1 to 6 p.m. at Culbreth Theatre. There are roles for 26 men and two women. Heritage plans to cast age-specific actors for roles that range in age from 18 to 70. Men should bring sheet music and be prepared to sing, as well as deliver a one- to two-minute monologue. Women should sing either or both "He Plays the Violin" and "Till Then" from the show, as well as deliver a one- to two-minute monologue.

Auditions will be held in 10-minute slots. During the week of Jan. 16, those interested in auditioning should call the Drama Department at 434-924-3327 or come to the Drama Building on Culbreth Drive to sign up for an audition time.