Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

A.R.T. Announces 1776-Related Programming

Now playing at the Loeb Drama Center in Harvard Square, the revival of the Tony Award-winning musical examines a pivotal moment in American history.

A.R.T. Announces 1776-Related Programming

American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University announced today additional programming associated with its upcoming production of 1776 directed by Jeffrey L. Page and A.R.T. Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director Diane Paulus.

Now playing at the Loeb Drama Center in Harvard Square, the revival of the Tony Award-winning musical examines a pivotal moment in American history, the consideration of American independence, and asks: how much must be compromised in pursuit of freedom? And who does that freedom belong to?

Driven by A.R.T.'s value of inquiry, both the production and associated programming including We Declare Boston, Declaration Reclamation, Civically Speaking, a mural entitled We Are the People, and more explore Four Essential Questions:

  • In creating the Declaration of Independence, what mattered?
  • How can we hold this history as a predicament, versus an affirming myth?
  • How is my story a part of American History?
  • How does an honest reckoning with our past help us move forward together?

The public is invited to consider these questions by engaging in the free programming described below and to offer their own responses throughout the run of 1776 through participation, as well as:

WE ARE THE PEOPLE MURAL BY ARTISTS FOR HUMANITY ON VIEW

A.R.T. continues its ongoing collaboration with Artists For Humanity, a Boston-based nonprofit that provides under-resourced teens the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design.

In conjunction with its production of 1776, A.R.T. invited AFH teens to design a visual representation of their answers to the production's Four Essential Questions. The resulting 20' x 9' mural entitled We Are the People is on display at the Loeb Drama Ex Theater and available for viewing by audience members attending 1776.

We Are the People Artistic Statement:

The colorful silhouettes are the teens of Artists For Humanity both past and present. These silhouettes represent a dialogue; both internal, external, and overlapping; the figures being just as colorful as the current timeline; the numbers represent a time morally black and white, but really it's a gradient because if the time were concrete in statements, we couldn't have made the progress we did today.

The young 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.

DECLARATION RECLAMATION

How is my story a part of American history? Declaration Reclamation explores this question through a series of free workshops, conversations, and gatherings held in May, June, and July 2022 across Greater Boston. Amplifying underrepresented voices and stories that are glossed over in American history, the participatory events will engage minds and bodies to collectively reclaim space in the story of America, bridging the gap between the histories we are taught and the histories that define us.

Participants of any of the events will receive complimentary tickets to the June 28, 7:30PM performance of 1776 and be invited to a closing celebration at the end of July. Declaration Reclamation is presented in collaboration with the Network of Arts Administrators of Color (ArtsBoston).

Learn More about Declaration Reclamation and register for events at AmericanRepertoryTheater.org/DecRec.

  • May 21, 2022 at 11AM - 1PM | In Person at the Connolly Branch Library, Jamaica Plain
    DIALOGUE OF CIVILIZATIONS

Through theatrical techniques, explore ideas of home, freedom, and connecting across backgrounds. Participants will learn theater practices and games, as well as use their own experiences to create community dialogue. This workshop is designed to engage immigrant communities across Greater Boston in the themes found in the Declaration of Independence and 1776. Open to all ages.

  • June 4, 2022, 10:30AM - 12PM | In Person at the Fields Corner Branch Library, Dorchester
    WHO GETS TO MAKE HISTORY

In this workshop led by Boston-based social justice project for children Wee the People, explore what monuments mean, and reimagine how they can celebrate values of community, equity, and justice. Appropriate for all ages, but designed especially for children and their grownups.

  • June 16, 2022, 12PM - 1PM | Online
    WHAT'S YOUR FAMILY HISTORY?

In this interactive workshop from Ancestors unKnown, participants will be guided in a series of discussions and creative activities that explore personal mysteries of the past and future, while uncovering our power to influence both.Imagination, risk-taking, and curiosity about the past are encouraged.

  • June 18, 2022, 11AM - 1PM | Location TBA

DIGITAL GREEN CARD STORIES: AMERICAN IMMIGRANT NARRATIVE

Immigrant stories are a significant part of American history but are often ignored or silenced. This storytelling workshop led by Dzidzor (Jee-Jaw) will create an opportunity to bring awareness to the immigrant experience in America. Through writing exercises, world-building, games, and visual art, participants will create a written narrative inspired by their own relationship and journey to the American land. Dzidzor is a locally based African folklore performing artist, author, and entrepreneur. Dzidzor's style of call and response has reimagined poetry and storytelling as a way to include the audience in an experience to challenge, inspire, and encourage self beyond traditional forms.

  • June 20, 2022, 12PM - 1:30PM | Online

STARTING YOUR FAMILY RESEARCH

In this second workshop from Ancestors unKnown, participants will learn how to start their family history research using practical tips and a realistic approach to researching and telling family histories, with an emphasis on the unique research skills and challenges relevant to Black and Brown family history research. Online resources and research recommendations will be provided.

  • June 28, 2022 at 7:30PM | In Person at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge

DEC REC NIGHT AT 1776

Attendees to any of the above workshops will receive up to 2 free tickets to attend this special night at 1776, including pre-show refreshments and performances from BIPOC vendors and musicians. Following the performance, Dzidzor will lead the audience in a brief breathing exercise to help process the themes of the production.

  • July 23, 2022 at 12:30PM | In Person at Spectacle Island, Boston Harbor

CELEBRATING OUR FUTURE

To honor our collective histories and to come together in celebration of a reimagined future, Declaration Reclamation will conclude with an in-person, outdoor gathering featuring performance, food, and ritual for participants of all ages.

Declaration Reclamation will also include a panel discussion about reparations that will feature discussion on local initiatives and how to get involved. More information will be announced at a later date.

Support for Declaration Reclamation is provided by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

CIVICALLY SPEAKING

Civically Speaking is A.R.T.'s series of free virtual conversations, lectures, and performance events on history, politics, justice, and the meaning of democracy.

Register at AmericanRepertoryTheater.org/CivicallySpeaking.

  • Tuesday, May 24 at 7PM | Online

DECLARING INDEPENDENCE: THE PROMISES AND PREDICAMENTS OF 1776

A lively discussion with leading Harvard scholars Danielle Allen, Vincent Brown, and host Timothy Patrick McCarthy about what the Declaration of Independence was and what it wasn't-and what it set in motion for the future of America.

Danielle Allen is the James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and Director of Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. Allen is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought.

Vincent Brown is Charles Warren Professor of American History and Professor of African and African American Studies. He directs the History Design Studio and teaches courses in Atlantic history, African diaspora studies, and the history of slavery in the Americas.

Timothy Patrick McCarthy is an award-winning scholar, teacher, and activist. At the Harvard Graduate School of Education, he is core faculty in both the Foundations Curriculum and the Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship Program (ELOE). At the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was the first openly gay/queer faculty member and still teaches the school's only course on LGBTQ matters, he is Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Public Leadership and Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

  • Wednesday, June 29 at 7PM | Online

LIVING REVOLUTION: THE MYTHS AND MEANINGS OF AMERICA'S FOUNDING

What did it mean to live during the American Revolution if you weren't a "Founding Father"? Hear from Harvard scholars Jane Kamensky, Annette Gordon-Reed, and host/facilitator Timothy Patrick McCarthy to learn more about the Revolutionary experience.

Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard. Gordon-Reed won sixteen book prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2009 and the National Book Award in 2008, for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton, 2008).

Jane Kamensky is professor of history at Harvard University and the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Director of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She is a historian of the Atlantic world and the United States with particular interests in the histories of family, culture, and everyday life.

Timothy Patrick McCarthy is an award-winning scholar, teacher, and activist. At the Harvard Graduate School of Education, he is core faculty in both the Foundations Curriculum and the Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship Program (ELOE). At the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was the first openly gay/queer faculty member and still teaches the school's only course on LGBTQ matters, he is Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Public Leadership and Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

Past Civically Speaking and 1776 Salons (held in 2020) are available for viewing at amrep.org/Civically-Speaking-Videos and include Achieving Multiracial Democracy (May 11) and Arts as Political Activator (May 18), which were co-presented by The Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School.

WE DECLARE

Designed for Educators and Community Organizers but offering content for all, We Declare applies theater-based techniques and processes to the vital study of the Declaration of Independence, which is part of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks in History and Social Science for eighth grade, and authentically connects classrooms to A.R.T.'s production of the musical 1776. A.R.T.'s new production casts these historical figures with actors who reflect multiple representations of race, gender, and ethnicity, and asks, "Who does freedom belong to?"

Through teaching artist residencies, curriculum materials open to all educators, and/or independent creative projects, We Declare asks students to apply this lens to their own study, connecting their own lives to the long sweep of history, grappling with its inherent contradictions, and advocating for the society in which they wish to live. Throughout the program, students will create original performance texts that culminate in their own Declarations of Interdependence.

We Declare partnerships include access 1776 production, digital curriculum materials featuring the cast and creative team, and collaboration opportunities with A.R.T.'s education and engagement team to help curate the materials to meet course objectives and/or to plan a teaching artist residency for the classroom.

We Declare is open to all Greater Boston public schools, and all materials are available for free for learners of all ages. Learn more at AmericanRepertoryTheater.org/WeDeclare.

Register to participate in We Declare at amrep.org/WeDeclareSignUp or by contacting Education@amrep.org.

ABOUT 1776

They knew they would make history, but not what history would make of them. Fed up with living under the tyranny of British rule, John Adams attempts to persuade his fellow members of the Continental Congress to vote in favor of American Independence and sign the Declaration. But how much is he willing to compromise in the pursuit of freedom? And who does that freedom belong to? Jeffrey L. Page and Diane Paulus direct a new production of the Tony Award-winning musical, reexamining this pivotal moment in American history with a cast that reflects multiple representations of race, gender, and ethnicity.

1776 features music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards and a book by Peter Stone. It is based on a concept by Sherman Edwards. The original production was directed by Peter Hunt and originally produced on the Broadway stage by Stuart Ostrow.

1776 is presented in special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mitshows.com.

Learn more about 1776, including the cast and creative team, at AmericanRepertoryTheater.org/1776-Revival.

Production support of 1776 is provided by Katie and Paul Buttenwieser, The Linda Hammett Ory & Andrew Ory Charitable Trust, Allison Johnson, and Serena and Bill Lese. Support for 1776 education and engagement programming is provided by the Ford Foundation. Additional production support is provided by Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine, Janet and Irv Plotkin, Professor Mark V. Tushnet, and National Endowment for the Arts. Additional education and engagement support is provided by Bank of America, Fresh Sound Foundation, Klarman Family Foundation, and Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Production support of the run of 1776 at Roundabout Theatre Company is provided by Elizabeth Armstrong.

American Repertory Theater 2021/22 programming support is provided by Harvard University, The Barr Foundation, The Bob and Alison Murchison New Work Development Fund, The Shubert Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Bank of America, Barton & Guestier, Meyer Sound, and JetBlue. A.R.T. 2021/22 programming is dedicated to the memory of Karen Mueller in recognition of her many contributions to the theater.

TICKETING INFORMATION / UPDATED COVID-19 POLICIES

1776 plays at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, MA, May 17 - July 24, 2022.

Tickets from $25 are available at AmericanRepertoryTheater.org/1776-Revival. Discounts are available to students and ticket-buyers under age 25, Blue Star families, EBT card holders, seniors, Harvard faculty and staff, and others. More information at AmericanRepertoryTheater.org/PlanYourVisit.

Audience, artist, and staff safety is A.R.T.'s top priority. The theater is taking many steps to protect against COVID-19. Enhanced ventilation, universal masking, vaccination including booster shots, and testing are critical cornerstones of our multi-layered mitigation efforts that prioritize the safety of our community. Visit A.R.T.'s website for a full list of current ticketing and attendance protocols and procedures: AmericanRepertoryTheater.org/Covid19Protocols.



Related Articles View More Boston Stories


More Hot Stories For You