Wheaton Drama Announces Auditions For 1776

Wheaton Drama, Inc. (WDI) announces auditions for its 2010-2011 season finale, 1776.

This completely compelling and Tony® Award winning look at American history vibrantly recaps the time leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Founding Fathers’ struggle for agreement thrills with drama, comedy, and song as the Continental Congress debate the merits of independence from Great Britain.

Charles A. Berglund is directing, assisted by production manager Jo-Ann Ledger. William Rush is the musical director and Harmony Barry is the choreographer. Bruce Ebner is the stage manager.

Auditions are at 7pm on Sunday, March 27 and Monday, March 28 at Playhouse 111, 111 N. Hale Street in downtown Wheaton. All roles are available.

For best use of actors’ time, auditions are by appointment only. The process is as follows:

Actors will be scheduled for either Sunday, March 27 or Monday, March 28 (actor choice, unless a date is full).

Actors will be assigned a call time, either 7, 8 or 9pm.

Actors will be assigned to a group and will sing, read, and dance. While the show is not dance intensive, all auditioning should be dressed appropriately for movement.

Those called back will be called by noon on Tuesday. (If you are not called back, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t been cast. It’s just not necessary to see/hear you again.) Actors who are not cast will be contacted by e-mail. Call backs (or further auditions, if needed) will be on Wednesday, March 30.

Walk-ins might be seen on Sunday and Monday beginning at 10pm. This will depend upon how busy auditions are, so having an appointment is advised.
To schedule an appointment and receive your copy of the monologues: BEGINNING MARCH 1, please email [email protected]. Please state your name and which day you would like to audition.

Download the 1776 Audition Form and 1776 Audition Information Page.

Actors may attach a headshot and resume with their appointment request, but this is not required.  All auditioning will be asked to sing music from 1776 only; audition pieces that are not from 1776 will not be heard. 1776 musical selections for the auditions are given with the character descriptions, and a general musical selection is given at the end of the character listing.  Music director Bill Rush put together some tips for a successful musical audition and hints for specific characters, to help you prepare.

Download Bill’s tips for 1776 Vocal Auditions


John Adams – (40) force behind the creation of the Declaration of Independence…pushes hard and antagonizes almost everyone in Congress…“obnoxious and disliked” but committed to independence (8 songs)

Musical Selections for Adams

Ben Franklin – (70) witty and playful and insightful, tends to be somewhat of a leveling influence in Congress…quick to quip but also acutely analytical (5 songs)

Richard Henry Lee – (44) Virginia aristocrat…ambling, enthusiastic and gregarious buffoon, full of energy and charm almost to the point of being overbearing (2 songs)

Musical Selections for Lee

Edward Rutledge – (26) handsome, aristocratic and somewhat of a dandy…languid and sinuous with leonine grace cloaking a barely concealed force and fury (3 songs)

Musical Selections for Rutledge

Thomas Jefferson – (33) tall, bright red hair…soft-spoken, contemplative and seemingly shy… quiet exterior masks an incisive mind (2 songs)

John Dickinson – (44) theatrical bursts of energy…stylish man of property, enjoys the good life… fiercely articulate champion and proponent of his class (2 songs)

John Hancock – (39) caustic when irritated, intelligent but bored with the daily affairs of Congress (3 songs)

Abigail Adams – (32) warm with gentle understanding…dignified and resolute… intelligent with a sense of humor… inner serenity contrasting to John’s aggressiveness…anchor to their relationship (3 songs)

Musical Selections for Abigail

Martha Jefferson – (27) lovely, maidenly and playful with a bit of a vixen (1 song)

Musical Selections for Martha



Dr. Josiah Bartlett (46), Stephen Hopkins (69), Roger Sherman (55), Robert Livingston (60), Lewis Morris (50), Rev. John Witherspoon (53), James Wilson (33), Caesar Rodney (48), Col. Thomas McKean (41–Scottish accent), George Read (43), Samuel Chase (35– portly), Joseph Hewes (46), Dr. Lyman Hall (52), Charles Thomson (47), McNair (50), Courier (15-25) and Leather Apron (age to be determined).

Musical Selections for the Courier

Musical Selections for Everyone Else

1776 performances are May 27 through June 19. Shows are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $18 for Thursdays; $21 for Fridays – Sundays.

1776 has book by Peter Stone, music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards, and is based on a concept by Sherman Edwards. 1776 is presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International.