1776: Founding Fathers? You mean Founding Mothers

By: Annie Hart

At the end of February, the conservatory put on the production “1776”. This show is traditionally a male cast, save the two female characters written in, because it is about the creation of the Declaration of Independence and our general separation from England. So of course it is all about the founding fathers in congress.

This particular production had an all-female cast, and wow what a way to start getting into the spirit for Women’s History Month.

This show was both hilarious and inspiring, with it being an all-female cast and having mostly women behind the scenes as well. It challenged the social norms of the concepts of the creation of our society today and showed that, as women, we can do anything a man can do.

The detail in the way the actresses performed was unlike any other show I have seen, and I’ve reviewed a lot of these performances. There was a sense of knowing there was something to prove by being all women, and they nailed it. It was absolute natural perfection down to the use of a walking cane and the automatic placement of their feet while standing or sitting, like watching a painting come to life.

Every character had their place and was perfectly cast, and let’s not forget to mention that the vocal performance was stunning. I got chills through many of the songs; though Momma Look Sharp sung by the courier (Molly Sorensen) brought tears to my eyes.

The chemistry on stage was amazing, especially between John Adams (Dani Heslin), Ben Franklin (Elena Donyo), and Richard Henry Lee (Emily Steinhardt). Those three had me snorting with laughter whenever they were on stage together.

The ending of the show having the transparent screen come down with signatures on the Declaration of Independence and the actresses looking into the audience was so powerful.

This show was no doubt one of my favorites I’ve ever reviewed at Shenandoah University.

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