Florida College Will Host Alumni Musical “1776”

The fine arts department at Florida College will host the first-ever alumni musical, “1776,” on Feb. 3-6, 2017, to support scholarships for fine arts students. The production will be directed by Tim Moore, a professor in the music department with experience directing more than 75 shows, and will feature Florida College faculty and staff and talented alumni from across the country.

Moore and Matt Johnson, chair of the communication, English and languages department, have been wanting to do “1776,” a Broadway hit and winner of three Tony awards including best musical, at Florida College for over a decade, and getting alumni involved seemed like the perfect way to make it happen.

“It’s one of the better written musicals in the American repertoire of Broadway theater, and it’s about important ideas: patriotism and the legacy of our country,” Johnson said. “We, for a long time, have been wanting to get more involvement with alumni productions, and this is a big show.”

The seminal event in American history blazes to life in “1776.” The show puts a human face on the pages of history as we see the men behind the national icons, founding fathers determined to do the right thing for a fledgling nation.

The cast for “1776” includes experienced alumni, like Shane Scott, Thaxter Dickey, Benjamin Payne, and Amanda (Graham) Payne, alongside current Florida College students, like Drake Pledger, Trevor Mikell, Nathan Christian, Tyler Henderson and Jackson Cowley. The show will also include Royce Chandler, Todd Chandler, Luke Chandler, Melanie (Brooks) Chandler and Micah Chandler, adding up to five members and three generations of one family.

“Having a cast made up of alumni is obviously different than a student cast,” Moore said. “Since we are on a tighter time schedule, I knew I count on them to have their music and lines memorized before they came. Everyone has stepped up and we were able to do in under two weeks what usually takes a month or more.”

All of the participants in the alumni musical have generously given of their own time and energy to put on a production in just over a week. The cast comes to rehearsal with their lines fully memorized and ready to focus on staging, and a number of volunteers work together to create the set, sew costumes, do hair and makeup, and sell tickets. All of the money raised through the production and the dedicated efforts of the cast and crew will benefit scholarships for Florida College students in the fine arts department.

“All alumni productions are done to help raise money for student scholarships to Florida College,” Moore said. “This year, since it is in conjunction with the fine arts department, proceeds and donations will help students interested in the fine arts.”

Make your plans to attend the Florida College alumni musical, “1776,” to support Florida College students! Purchase your tickets online now at floridacollege.edu/musical.