2010-07-29 / Entertainment

Trolley Car Theatre Co. Hatches “1776” To Honor 300 Years of History

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Pictured above are cast members of “1776.” Pictured above are cast members of “1776.” Trolley Car Theatre Co., in cooperation with the Orbisonia/Rockhill Furnace Historical Society, is preparing to present an historical musical comedy featuring a pair of professional actors tackling two of America’s most legendary founding fathers.

Trolley Car Theatre Co., in cooperation with the Orbisonia/Rockhill Furnace Historical Society, will present “1776” starring professional actors Jeremy Littlejohn and Matthew C. Scott beginning August 5 and continuing through August 15 at both the Southern Huntingdon High School Auditorium in Three Springs and the Huntingdon County High School Auditorium. Scheduled performance dates include August 5-7 (at S.H.C), 12-14 (at H.H.S.) at 7:00 and August 15 at 2:00. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling 814-251- 4044 (daytime) and 814- 386-3201(evening). Seating is general admission, with the ticket price being $10 for adults and $6 for students.

At “1776” audiences will spend an enjoyable evening of comedy and drama following our Founding Fathers as the Second Continental Congress debates the issue of creating an independent country separate from the tyranny of King George III. As the story unfolds we are thrust into the sweltering confines of Independence Hall where both sides of the tumultuous issue remain staunch in their beliefs regarding the future of the 13 colonies. Prior to casting the vote on Independence, Congress elects a committee devoted to drafting a written declaration defining the reason for the secession. The committee includes legendary delegates John Adams (Indiana native Jeremy Littlejohn), Benjamin Franklin (Pennsylvania native Matthew C. Scott), Thomas Jefferson (Pennsylvania native Sean Waddle) and two others. After a brief debate with John Dickinson from Pennsylvania (played by Nin Hiles Jr.), and a spirited debate with Edward Rutledge ( played by Aaron Keeney), Jefferson (who is widely considered the best essayist in Congress) is tapped to write the declaration and the rest is history. Throughout the performance the audience will be treated to a look inside the minds of these revered men of fate as they are transported to Colonial Philadelphia and witness first hand the unveiled passion emanating from the “obnoxious and disliked” Adams with regard to his fight for Independence and his undying love for his wife, Abigail, (Pennsylvania native Nanette Thomas) as well as the often bawdy behavior of Franklin, everyone’s favorite inventor.

Scott and Littlejohn are no strangers to the professional stage with nearly 30 combined years of theatrical experience between them. Scott who is also the producer/ director for the piece was recently seen in the title role of Lil Abner for the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre in Sarasota, Fla., and has been working around the country as an actor, director and teacher for 15 years. Littlejohn recently retired from his tenure as artistic director for The Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres in Nappanee, Ind., where he performed in and directed more than 30 shows. While Scott resides in Orbisonia and is the artistic director of the Trolley Car Theatre Co., Littlejohn comes to Pennsylvania from Chicago and will be residing in Orbisonia for the duration of the run.

With a touching and hilarious book written by the late Peter Stone (“Titanic,” “The Will Rogers Follies”) and an unforgettable score by Sherman Edwards (best known for his work as a band leader and song writer for such stars as Elvis Presley, Mindy Carson and Burt Bacha-rach) 1776 promises to leave audiences breathless with its authentic depiction of life during the American Revolution. This Tony Award- winning musical will be presented in correlation with East Broad Top Railroad’s 50th anniversary celebration and Orbisonia’s 250th birthday. Come join the Trolley Car Theatre Co. in celebrating a combined 300 years of prolific Pennsylvania history as they present “1776” and stay to enjoy all of the wonderful events offered in celebration of East Broad Top Railroad’s half century of providing visitors passage to the farmlands of the Aughwick Valley.

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