Before Hamilton: 1776

Sit down, John! (Adams, that is)

1776 is coming to the Upper Valley. Long before Hamilton, this Tony Award-winning musical captured history and brought it to life on the Broadway stage.  Producer and director Perry Allison and a group of local theater artists are bringing 1776 to the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction VT.

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Why this, why now? Allison was inspired by current events, saying “I have loved this play for a long time and had it on a list of plays that I would like to direct some day. With all of the turmoil in our political system over the last year, I thought that it has never be more relevant to revisit this story. The text has many moments that make us reflect on how hard it is to compromise, to come together when people come from disparate points of view. It also felt that it would give me and my team of collaborators the sense of ‘doing something’ constructive. Our vision is to shine a light on civics—what it means to be a citizen and perhaps spur some people, particularly young people, to get more active in government, in their schools and towns.”

Take a careful look at the two photos above. The top photo (of a painting) shows the original founding fathers preparing to sign the Declaration of Independence. The second photo was staged with their actual descendants, and is of a somewhat more diverse group. In Allison’s production, women will be portraying some of the traditional male roles. 

1776’s producer and director, Perry Allison

Allison is working to bring local politicians and others to moderate talkbacks following the performances. She plans to engage in outreach to local schools. The production will run from March 30 through April 14, 2018. If interested in participating, to take a peek at the cast, or for further information, go to 


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