"1776 - The Musical" by Peter Stone & Sherman Edwards

role: Edward Rutledge (SC delegate) - for 5 of the 7 productions

produced by the ActorsNET of Bucks County

in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008 & 2010

all 7 productions

staged & directed by Cheryl Doyle

musical direction by Pat Masterson


Soon after it first produced this show on the stage at the Heritage Center in Morrisville, 1776 quickly became the NET's signature show. in 2008 it became a centerpiece of Morrisville Borough's "Arts in the Park" summer series. Here are a few comments from the event's organizer:


"Morrisville is fortunate to play host to the ActorsNet of Bucks County for many reasons...not the least of which is their sense of responsibility to the community. ActorsNet productions are always of the highest quality, but they go above and beyond the call of duty to stage free outdoor productions as part of Morrisville's ongoing summer Arts In The Park program, which offers a full summer schedule of concerts, theatre, and other cultural events free to the public in an outdoor setting.


From the beginning of Arts In The Park several years ago, ActorsNet has been enthusiastic about giving back to the community, and the community has responded. Usually the performances by the 'Net are the highest-attended events of our summer season. The dedicated cast, crew, and production staff freely give of their time and never disappoint their audiences.


Morrisville is trying to be an arts-friendly community. ActorsNet is an important part of this initiative, and their presence in our community gives us artistic credibility. It also attracts a regional audience, bringing people into town who would not ordinarily visit here. We hope this relationship continues to flourish, for the success of the arts in Morrisville is a direct indication of the health of our community as a whole.
Tom WisnoskyMayor, Morrisville Borough



The following actors have performed the same role in all seven productions:

  • Joe Doyle as John Adams (MA)
  • Steve Lobis as John Dickenson (PA)
  • Marco Newton as Andrew McNair (Congressional custodian)
  • James Palmer as Dr. Lyman Hall (GA)
  • Mickey Levitan as Stephen Hopkins (RI)
  • Alex Campbell as Samuel Chase (MD)
  • Mary Liz Ivins as Abigail Adams
  • additionally, Ed Patton has appeared in all seven productions 

Benjamin Franklin portrayed by Dean Bennett

Dean Bennett - the quintessential Benjamin Franklin


Since 1981, Mr. Bennett appeared throughout this country and overseas. He appeared at the White House before President Bush, performed at the National Archives during Constitution Week of 1998, and traveled to Paris as Philadelphia's official host for US Air in their inaugural flight between Philadelphia and Paris. His appearances included numerous television commercials, films, magazine and newspaper articles.


Dean was featured in the title role of the Discovery Channel's "The Real Ben Franklin" and on A&E channel's "The Real Story, Mystery of Genius".


"Well done is better than well said."


Sadly, Dean passed away in 2014.

John Adams portrayed by Joe Doyle

John Adams was pivotal to the American Cause. His sharp legal mind enabled him to frame key precepts for the emerging United States, but Adams was shrewd enough to recommend that Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence in order to secure southern support. Adams wrote the Massachusetts Constitution, which served as the highly-original model for the United States Constitution, in that the Massachusetts document called for three equal branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial.


Mr. Adams devoted his outstanding legal talents to the cause of freedom and liberty. His bulldog tenacity and political acumen served him well as Washington’s Vice President, as the U.S. Surgeon General and as the second President of the United States. Adams encouraged an end to slavery and promoted education for both men and women.


Joe Doyle’s training and experience enable him to interact with confidence and intelligence with his audience. His reporting background developed his talent for keen observation of the human condition. Mr. Doyle looks like John Adams and has the intellect to portray him with artistic honesty. Adams wrote commentary and Doyle writes plays. Both men are capable managers and devoted husbands. John Adams is an excellent choice for legal events, medical meetings, husband and wife events, political fundraisers, and military commemorations.


contact Joe Doyle at:

actorsnet@aol.com 

or by calling 215-295-3694

"1776" at ActorsNET

2010

role: Edward Rutledge

August 20 - 22, 2010

produced by the ActorsNET of Bucks County

at the Morrisville Middle/High School

directed by Cheryl Doyle

musical direction by Pat Masterson

2008

role: Edward Rutledge

August 22 & 23, 2008

produced by the ActorsNET of Bucks County

at Williamson Park in Morrisville, PA

directed by Cheryl Doyle

musical direction by Pat Masterson

2005

role: Edward Rutledge

June 23 - July 2, 2005

produced by the ActorsNET of Bucks County

at the Washington Crossing Open Air Theater

directed by Cheryl Doyle

musical direction by Pat Masterson

2001

role: Edward Rutledge

July 11 - 29, 2001

produced by the ActorsNET of Bucks County

at The Heritage Center in Morrisville 

directed by Cheryl Doyle

musical direction by Pat Masterson

2000

role: Edward Rutledge

May 12-28, 2000

produced by the ActorsNET of Bucks County

at The Heritage Center in Morrisville

directed by Cheryl Doyle

musical direction by Pat Masterson

"1776" at ActorsNET (2010) at Morrisville Middle/High School

George Hartpence as Edward Rutledge (SC)

Book by Peter Stone, Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards

August 20th, 21st & 22rd, 2010

Directed by Cheryl Doyle

Musical Direction by Pat Masterson

performed at the Morrisville Middle/Senior High School


The triumphant return of The NET’s signature show, 1776.


Starring:

Joe Doyle as "John Adams"

Ken Ambs as "Benjamin Franklin"

James Petro as "Thomas Jefferson"


Co-Starring:

Chuck Donnelly as Richard Henry Lee,

George Hartpence as Edward Rutledge,

Steve Lobis as John Dickenson,

Kyla Marie Mostello as Martha Jefferson, 

Mary Liz Ivins as Abigail Adams, 

Marco Newton as Congressional Custodian Andrew McNair 


Stage Managed by Kelly Allen

Set design by George Hartpence

Choreography by Dani Tucci-Juraga & Tess Ammerman


Considered the company’s signature show since its NET debut ten years ago, 1776 is once again directed by NET Co-Founder and Artistic Director Cheryl Doyle. Leading the live orchestra is musical director Pat Masterson. 


Also featuring Ed Patton as John Hancock, John Bergeron as Richard Henry Lee, Ken Ammerman as

Congressional Clerk Charles Thomson.  Additionally:  Jack Bathke as Roger Sherman, James Cordingley as Caesar Rodney, Corey Stradling as Thomas McKean, Ed Correale as George Read, Jim Palmer as Dr. Lyman Hall, Alex Campbell as Samuel Chase, Matthew Whiteside as Joseph Hewes, Dennis McGuire as Dr. Hosiah Bartlett, C. Jameson Bradley as Rev. Jonathan Witherspoon, Tom Harrelson as Robert Livingston, Barry Clements as Lewis Morris, Mitch Gerson as James Wilson, Mickey Levitan as Stephen Hopkins, and Matt South as The Courier. 

"1776" for ActorsNET (2008) at Williamson Park

August 22nd and 23rd, 2008

Book by Peter Stone, Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards

August 22nd & 23rd, 2008

Directed by Cheryl Doyle

Musical Direction by Pat Masterson

Set design by George Hartpence

(FREE in Williamson Park, Morrisville, PA)


The triumphant return of The NET’s signature show, 1776.

A free outdoor performance in Williamson Park, N. Delmorr Avenue, Morrisville


Starring:

Joe Doyle as "John Adams"

Jack Bathke as "Benjamin Franklin"

James Petro as "Thomas Jefferson"


Co-Starring:

Chuck Donnelly as Richard Henry Lee,

George Hartpence as Edward Rutledge,

Steve Lobis as John Dickenson,

Kyla Marie Mostello as Martha Jefferson,

Mary Liz Ivins as Abigail Adams,

Marco Newton as McNair and many more!


Stage Managed by Charissa Taylor

Set design by George Hartpence

Choreography by Dani Tucci-Juraga

"1776" at the Washington Crossing Open Air Theater (2005)

George Hartpence as Edward Rutledge (SC) and set designer

Book by Peter Stone, Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
June 23, 24, 25, 29, 30 & July 1 and 2, 2005 

Directed by Cheryl Doyle
Musical Direction by Pat Masterson
Stage Managed by Kelly Allen
Set Design by George Hartpence

Choreography by Dani Tucci-Juraga


Actors’NET presented our fifth production of the brilliant Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone musical at the Open Air Theatre, Washington Crossing State Park, NJ. This is our first visit to the Open Air Theatre with a revival of our signature show.


Stars Joe Doyle as John Adams, Michael Ashby as Ben Franklin, and Jim Petro as Thomas Jefferson. Also starring Steve Lobis as John Dickinson and George Hartpence as Edward Rutledge, with Mary Liz Ivins as Abigail Adams and Kyla Marie Mostello as Martha Jefferson.


Open Air Theatre, Washington Crossing State Park, NJ
All performances at 8:00 PM

Critical Praise:

1776 (June 2005)

TimeOff Magazine:

“Cheryl Doyle has once again directed with her touch of magic; characters move naturally and easily, comedy bits are handled with grace. She apparently has an innate sense of this type of material and it has made Actors' NET one of the premier groups in the area.”

Critical Praise:

Pennington Town Topics review

Washington Crossing's Open Air Theatre Opens Its Season With a Patriotic Musical

by Nancy Plum


"... among the show's most interesting characters was South Carolina delegate Edward Rutledge, played by George Hartpence. Mr. Hartpence's portrayal had a sufficient amount of arrogance to give the character life, as South Carolina put up the most vigorous fight against the independence movement.  


 A simple but creative set designed by George Hartpence served as the backdrop for most of the action, which takes place in the Chamber of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. 

"1776" at ActorsNET (2004 & 2003)

2004 Production

(above: Dean Bennett as Ben Franklin & Joe Doyle as John Adams)


July 2, 3 & 4, 2004

(Three Performances Only!)
At the pavilion in Williamson Park, Morrisville, PA


Directed by Cheryl Doyle*

Musical Direction by Pat Masterson*

Set Design by Cheryl Doyle

Lighting Design by Cheryl Doyle

Special Choreography by Danielle Tucci-Juraga

Stage Manager – Kelly Allen


STARRING

Joe Doyle* as John Adams,

Dean Bennett** as Ben Franklin,

Steve Edenbo as Thomas Jefferson,

Mary Liz Ivins as Abigail Adams,

Eric Mihan as Edward Rutledge,

Steve Lobis as John Dickenson,

Eleanor Kiel as Martha Jefferson

& Chuck Donnelly as Richard Henry Lee

Featuring (alphabetically)

Ken Ammerman,T. Ammerman, Michael Ashby, Jamie Bradley,Alex Campbell, Ed Correale,Henry R. Ford, Mitch Gerson, Tim Johnson, Curtis Kaine, Mickey Levitan, Pat McGuire, Marco Newton, James Palmer, Ed Patton, Nelson Runger, Matt South & Matthew Whiteside

2003 Production

(no photos)

July 4th & 5th, 2003

(FREE in Williamson Park, Morrisville, PA)


Directed by Cheryl Doyle
Musical Direction by Pat Masterson
Choreography by Cat Miller


The Actors' NET of Bucks County and the Bucks County Historical Theatre Company, in cooperation with the Borough of Morrisvill, proudly present the award winning musical 1776. These special performances will be outdoors in Morrisville's Williamson Park on Delmorr Avenue. Join us as we kick-off Morrisville's bicentennial celebrations.


STARRING:
Joe Doyle as John Adams, 

Dean Bennett as Ben Franklin, 

Steven Edenbo as Thomas Jefferson, 

Steve Lobis as John Dickinson, 

Mary Liz Ivins as Abigail Adams, 

Stephanie Delaney as Martha Jefferson,

 John Zimmerman as Edward Rutledge, 

Chuck Donnelly as Richard Henry Lee, 

Ed Patton as John Hancock, 

Marco Newton as Andrew McNair, 

Ryan Dethy as the Courier, and many more...

2001 Production

(no photos)


role: George Hartpence a Edward Rutledge (SC)

Book by Peter Stone, Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards

July 13 - 29, 2001

(at The Heritage Center, Morrisville, PA)

Directed by Cheryl Doyle
Musical Direction by Pat Masterson
Choreography by Del Howard

Set design by Ken Junkins

"1776" for ActorsNET at The Heritage Center (2000)

George Hartpence as Edward Rutledge (SC)

Book by Peter Stone, Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards

May 18 - 28, 2000

(at The Heritage Center, Morrisville, PA)


Directed by Cheryl Doyle

Musical Direction by Pat Masterson

Choreography by Del Howard

Set design by Ken Junkins


SYNOPSIS

This stirring musical begins on a sweltering day in Philadelphia, May 8, 1776. The Second Continental Congress is in session, and John Adams, the Massachusetts representative, is enumerating his grievances against King George III and lobbying for independence. The other delegates, already divisive and annoyed by his arguments, demand, in the song “Sit Down, John” that he be quiet.


Frustrated that his views have not prevailed Adams seeks out Benjamin Franklin, who is having his portrait painted. Franklin reminds Adams that no colony ever successfully broke away from its parent country. He also notes that because the members of the Congress dislike Adams he might find someone else to present the idea of independence.


Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, arrives at Franklin’s request and offers to secure a proposal from the Virginia legislature himself. When his ability to do this is questioned, Lee explains that his illustrious family history makes him perfect for the job.


When Lee returns from Virginia with the proposal for independence the Congress is once again thrown into roiling debate. Some members, led by John Dickinson, oppose independence and favor simply petitioning George III with their grievances. Adams and Franklin lead the charge toward independence, arguing that it has been a full year since the bloody battles of Lexington and Concord and therefore too late to reconcile with England.


Finally, after much argument, the proposal for independence is put up for vote--with Dickinson’s stipulation that the vote must be unanimous. At this point Adams and Franklin suggest that a declaration be written, prior to the vote, which clearly details their goals. This also serves the purpose of delaying the decision while they attempt to gain more votes in favor of their cause.  Adams, knowing that he has few supporters in Congress, suggests that someone else write the declaration. Other members of the Declaration Committee pass the task of writing the declaration (with threats of physical force, if needed) to more popular and eloquent Thomas Jefferson.Jefferson accepts, but is soon frustrated by writer’s block and is unable to concentrate on completing the document. Adams and Franklin determine that Jefferson’s “problem” is that he misses his new bride, Martha, and is unable to focus. Adams arranges for Martha to join her husband in Philadelphia, and they celebrate their love in the song “He Plays the Violin.” Soon after her arrival Jefferson is able to complete the first draft of the document, which Adams and Franklin pronounce as a work of genius.


Congress, however, is quick to find numerous problems with the document. After much debate and frustration, Jefferson agrees to all of the recommended changes, but draws the line when Edward Rutledge of South Carolina passionately opposes the abolition of slavery. With half of the Congress threatening too walk out with Rutledge, Adams and Jefferson concede on the slavery issue and win back the two Carolinas.


After more debate the final vote is cast by James Wilson, who votes in favor not so much because of his own belief in the cause, but because he does not want to be remembered in history as “the man who prevented American independence.”


The play closes as one by one the delegates gather together to sign the Declaration of Independence. In the background, as the curtain falls, the Liberty Bell tolls loudly.

"1776" Cast Lists 2000 - 2010