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Civic theatre bringing ‘1776’ to life

The LaGrange Civic Theatre is bringing to the Bouton Auditorium stage a recreation of one of the most important historical events in American history – the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The musical, which follows the month preceding the signing, will be staged Thursday, July 24, through Saturday, July 26, at 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, July 27. Tickets are available at the door and all active and former military personnel will be admitted free of charge.

The musical, which won the 1969 Tony Award for Best Musical, follows John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and others during the 2nd Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Penn., as they wrangle with the idea of independence and how to proceed. Jefferson is reluctant to pen the document that he will eventually come to be famous for.

Cast members with the LaGrange Civic Theatre include: Richard Muntz as John Hancock, Elizabeth Marcink as Dr. Josiah Bartlett, Hank Gore as John Adams, Helmuth Massat as Stephen Hopkins, Jerry Schoenle as Roger Sherman, Ed Gilmore as Lewis Morris, David Snyder as Robert Livingston, Paul Snyder as Rev. Jonathan Witherspoon, Bruce Litke as Benjamin Franklin, Ben Myers as John Dickinson, and Kristin Hites as James Wilson.

Also on stage will be Kyle Hites as Caesar Rodney, Robert Kensey as Col. Thomas McKean, David Vogler as George Read, Austin Keckler as Samuel Chase, Zac Toles as Richard Henry Lee, Rodger Owsley as Thomas Jefferson, Zac Wenzel as Joseph Hewes, Austin Glenn as Edward Rutledge, and Fabian Altamira as Dr. Lyman Hall.

Matt Steider will portray Charles Thomson, Tony Klausing will be Andrew McNair, Nicci Carpenter is Abigail Adams, and Adrian Vogler is Martha Jefferson, with Alisson Morgan as a person wearing a leather apron, Kristin Hites a painter and Kyle Hites as a courier.

The production is sponsored by the Lagrange de Lafayette Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.