How is my story a part of American history?
In creating the Declaration of Independence, what mattered?
How can we hold this history as a predicament versus an affirming myth?
How does an honest reckoning with our past help us move forward together?
In preparation for the pre-Broadway engagement of American Repertory Theater at Harvard University/Roundabout Theatre Company’s new production of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, 1776, the creative team and company along with A.R.T.’s Education and Engagement team developed these four essential questions to guide their work in the rehearsal room, onstage, and in engaging with audiences.
Fifteen pre-Broadway company and creative team members were involved in the conversation. Among those, Denver audiences will see Tiffani Barbour (she/her) as ‘Andrew McNair,’ Shawna Hamic (she/her) as ‘Richard Henry Lee,’ Liz Mikel (she/her) as ‘Benjamin Franklin,’ Oneika Phillips (she/her) as ‘John Hancock, Brooke Simpson (she/her) as ‘the Courier,’ Sav Souza (they/them) as ‘Dr. Josiah Bartlett’ and Jill Marie Vallery (she/her) as ‘Caesar Rodney,’ when the first national tour plays the Buell March 21-April 2.
“The educational mission of this production,” said Co-Director Diane Paulus,” has been at the core of our journey….” This goal is clearly evident in the programs they created to support the musical, among them an educational web portal called We Declare and a mural project created with Artists for Humanity, a Boston-based employment program that enables teens to explore and express their creative abilities.
We Declare features theater-based techniques and processes to enhance the vital study of the Declaration of Independence, which is part of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks in History and Social Science for eighth grade. The curriculum authentically connected classrooms to 1776, which features a glorious multiracial cast of female, transgender, and nonbinary actors who portray the fiery founders of this country, putting history in the hands of the humans who were left out the first time around.
We Are the People is a 20’ x 9’ mural that tours to select cities hosting the Broadway engagement of 1776. The young Boston artists involved in the creation of the mural and accompanying video include Tammy Anderson, Darwin Jimenez, Mushen Kieta, Angela Martinez, Nora Mohamed, Nia Noland, Ismael Peguero, Liam Perrino, Jameel Radcliffe, Kayli Reinoso, Violet Rile, Jeyrie Rodriguez and Ananda Toulon.
We Are the People is on display at the Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel through the end of March. While viewing the mural, visitors also can enjoy 1776-themed menu options at Teller Bar located off the hotel lobby before attending the show in the nearby Buell Theatre.
The Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel, at 17th and Champa, was formerly the Colorado National Bank building. One of Colorado’s most gorgeous and historic buildings, with a lobby that The Denver Post coined “the most beautiful room in Denver,” it is a fantastic public location to display We Are the People. Imbued with a series of 16 murals from the iconic western muralist Allen Tupper True, the property showcases historic elements from the building’s original early 20th-century construction, juxtaposed with the accommodations, amenities, and comforts of a modern luxury hotel.
We invite you to experience the beautiful mural, a New England Crab Cake and “a 1776 worth celebrating!” (Variety) “It pulsates with energy and snaps with attitude.” You may never think about our country — who we are and why — the same way again.
Patron Tip: The Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel is a proud DCPA restaurant and hotel partner and is within walking distance of the Arts Complex making it a terrific location for dinner prior to any show at Range that includes complimentary valet or an overnight stay. Range is an original concept restaurant and bar, serving local cuisine inspired by the Rocky Mountain West.
March 21-April 2, 2023 • Buell Theatre