The Cast of 1776
The Cast of 1776
Bobby Kerrigan (John Adams, Director, Producer) has been producing, directing and acting on stage in the Boston area for over 20 years. He has always loved 1776, having appeared in a production of the Tony-award winner 10 years ago. Having the chance to direct, appear in, and produce the show in a venue such as Abbot Hall has left him speechless, which is hard to do! Some of Bobby’s favorite musical roles include Javert in two productions of Les Misérables, the Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance, King Arthur in Spamalot, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Lord Farquaad in Shrek: The Musical, Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde in Jekyll & Hyde, Don Quixote in The Man of La Mancha, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Scarecrow in The Wizard Of Oz, Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sir Lancelot in Camelot, Jud Fry in Oklahoma!, Aaron Fox in Curtains, Barrett in Titanic: The Musical, and Ebeneezer Scrooge in Scrooge: The Musical, just to name a few. He has also performed in many dramatic straight plays, including Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs and—most recently—as Juror 3 in the classic show Twelve Angry Men at MLT, which he also produced and directed. Bobby has also created set designs for many shows over the years, including The Drowsy Chaperone, Oliver!, Annie, and It’s a Wonderful Life. Bobby loves to perform in benefits and fundraisers around New England that share his passion for performing and his love of bringing theatre to everyone. Bobby is excited to have traveled to Medellín, Colombia, last September with an impressive group of performers and theater pros to bring a bit of Broadway to another rich cultural part of the world. During the day, Bobby serves as the postmaster in Rockport, MA. Good God! I hope you enjoy the show!
Bethany Vahn (Abigail Adams) is a veteran performer. She began studying voice privately at the age of 12, and continued her studies in vocal performance and musical theatre for many years. Bethany has performed throughout the United States as a singer/dancer in theme parks such as Busch Gardens and Opryland, as well as touring shows such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat and The Sound of Music. Bethany also traveled throughout Europe where she performed classical, Broadway and jazz genres with various musical companies. Eventually, Bethany settled into a career on cruise ships as a performer and, eventually, assistant cruise director. After nearly a decade on the high seas, Ms. Vahn returned to college to pursue another passion as a teacher of children with special needs. She currently works by day at The Children’s Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf. Ms. Vahn is also a private voice teacher at The Music Connection in Danvers and The Creative Arts Center at the Salem YMCA. Bethany continues to perform and direct in local community theatre productions. This is her first time being a part of MLT, and she couldn’t be happier or more proud to work with this amazing and talented team of performers … not to mention being in one of her dream roles. A special shout out to the wonderful production team for all that you’ve contributed behind the scenes to make 1776 a success.
Sean Murphy (Thomas Jefferson) is thrilled to be making his MLT debut and—after talking about it endlessly—finally to be treading the boards with Bobby Kerrigan, who has been ducking him for years. Sean was last seen as Enjolras in Les Misérables with the Concord Players. Some of Sean’s other favorite roles include Jesus in Godspell, the Dentist in Little Shop of Horrors, and Danny in Grease. One of his favorite onstage roles was as a proud and honored cast member of the Burlington Players’ production of Radium Girls, which won Best Show at AACT National Theater Festival in Indiana, in competition with theater companies from all over the country. Sean works as an IT director for Iron Mountain by day and has loved getting the chance to spend quality time with his amazing wife these past couple of months.
Janet Pohli (Martha Jefferson) is excited to be involved in this amazing production with its great cast. Janet can be seen as Mrs. Winifred Banks in Mary Poppins later this month at ACTORS Inc. Previous productions include Oklahoma! (Laurey), Les Misérables (Fantine), West Side Story (Maria), Sweeney Todd (Johanna), Pirates of Penzance (Mabel), The King and I (Lady Thiang), Baby (Pam), The Sound of Music (Liesl), and Little Red Riding Hood (LRRH). Operatic performances include Hansel und Gretel (Gretel), Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna), Alcina (Morgana), and Die Zauberflöte (Erste Dame). Janet wishes to dedicate this performance to her mother. Thank you, Bobby, for making this production my fifth experience working with you, and a huge thank-you to everyone attending tonight.
Fred Gallagher (Ben Franklin) is appearing in his second show with MLT. Some of his favorite roles have included Harold Hill in The Music Man, Frank Butler in Annie, Get Your Gun, Prof. Callahan in Legally Blonde, Sy Benson in My Favorite Year, and the Monster in Young Frankenstein.
He is currently the president of Colonial Chorus Players in Reading. When not working on or behind stage, you can usually find him working on his old house in Chelmsford, where he lives with his beautiful wife, Jan, and their cat, Pixie.
Stephen Faria () Steve is an actor, director, playwright and musician. Some of Steve’s acting roles include, “El Gallo” in The Fantastiks, “Jean Valjean” in Les Miserables, “Thenardier” in Les Miserables, One of the “Clowns” in The 39 Steps, “David” in Company, “Martin” in The Goat, “Charlie fox” in Speed the Plow, “Hornbeck” in Inherit the Wind, One of the Male leads in “I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change” , The Actor in “The Woman In Black”, as well as multiple roles in The Boston Theater Marathon, The New Works Festival in Newburyport and the One Minute Play festival in Boston. Steve has written and produced Three full length plays, “SENSE”, a comedy produced in 2004, “Things That Matter”, a musical produced in 2006 and “BOXED IN”, a drama produced in 2009 and in 2010. Steve has had many short plays produced at The Boston Theater Marathon, The Source Festival in D.C. The Chaos 5 Festival in Chicago and the Cork Arts Festival in Cork Ireland. Steve is thrilled to be working once again with MLT and with this talented cast and crew.
Nick Economou (Samuel Chase) is thrilled to be back performing with MLT. He made his stage debut with MLT when he performed 10 years ago in 1776 and is the only returning cast member from that production. Since then, he has portrayed Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Bellomy in The Fantasticks, Thénardier in Les Misérables, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Marcellus in The Music Man. He has also appeared in The Man of La Mancha, Oklahoma!, and Godspell, among many others. He was a performer in and the driving force behind the revival of Christmas Is … at MLT for a two-year run. Most recently, he has performed with Voices of Hope in their fall gala and will be appearing with them later this spring in Children of Eden at the North Shore Music Theater. Nick was a member of Crossroad Company, a semi-professional dinner theater troupe, for 10 years. Performing with this dream-team 1776 cast has been a real joy. As always, a very special thank-you to his family, especially his wife Mary, for their love and support in continuing his passion for being on stage. He wishes to remind us that theater is indeed magic, and invites you to sit back and enjoy your visit to colonial Philadelphia and an inside look at the birth of our nation.
Andrew Hankinson (Richard Henry Lee) was born and raised on a farm in northern Vermont. After completing his degree in geology at Oberlin College, he moved back east to find his calling; it may have called collect. Andrew has spent a great deal of his life involved with local theater and has performed in a number of shows. Some of his favorites include Guys & Dolls, Wonderful Town, The Sound of Music, The Secret Garden, The King and I, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, Beauty and the Beast, and Cabaret. He is excited to be working with Marblehead Little Theater this spring.
Les Tarmy (John Hancock), a Nahant native, was last seen as Juror 10 in MLT’S production of Twelve Angry Men. With MLT, Les was also seen in Christmas Is …, as Otto Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank, as the studio host in It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play, as Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone, and as Larry in Company. Other favorite roles include Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof and Nikos in Zorba: The Musical with The Winthrop Playmakers, and Isador Strauss in Titanic: The Musical, Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Annas in Jesus Christ, Superstar, and F.D.R. in Annie with Pentucket Players. Other roles include Mr. Mushnick in Little Shop of Horrors, the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, Charlie Cowell in The Music Man, and Jacob in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Neverland Theater Company.
Kevin A. Wilson (Charles Thomson) fell in love with acting when he first stepped onto a stage at age 12. Since then, he has been in more than forty productions and worked as part of the staff and crew for countless others. Recent musical roles include Oliver Warbucks in Annie, Will Parker in Oklahoma!, the Governor in Man of La Mancha, Ernst Ludwig in Cabaret, Milky-White in Into the Woods, Vice Principal Panch in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Mayor Shinn in The Music Man, and Sir Danvers Carew in Jekyll & Hyde. Non-musical roles include Tito in Lend Me A Tenor, Oscar in The Odd Couple, Duncan in Macbeth, and Ernie in Rumors. He is the regular emcee for Spotlight Playhouse’s Broadway on Essex cabaret, and last September he toured with a cabaret in Medellín, Colombia, as part of a cultural exchange. He has served on the board of Pentucket Players and Spotlight Playhouse. When not on stage, Kevin teaches theology at Merrimack College and plays the banjo.
Ron Amon (Col. Thomas McKean) has been with MLT for 18 years, and this is his twenty-first production. Most recently, Ron has appeared in the Totally New Theater Collective, The Miracle Worker (Capt. Keller), The Best of Broadway Revue, and Twelve Angry Men (Juror 11), which earned him a DASH Award nomination. Some of Ron’s favorite roles at MLT have been Uncle Max in The Sound of Music, Buffalo Bill Cody in Annie Get Your Gun, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Baker #2 in The Drowsy Chaperone, and Speed in The Odd Couple. Ron would like to give a big shout out to his good friend Rhod Sharp of the BBC, who helped him with his brogue. “Och Aye The Noo!”
Paul Smith (Caesar Rodney) is appearing in his third production with MLT. He was in the ensembles of Beauty and the Beast and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He was last seen on stage in the Quannapowitt Players’ Diary of Anne Frank as the Nazi. Paul has also worked extensively in sound design, in unique costume fabrication, and on specialty prop design.
Nat Gorton (Joseph Hewes) began acting in high school and college where he played Prince Hal in Henry IV: Part II, had leads in Stalag 17 and Twelve Angry Men, sang a solo in Aaron Copland’s operetta The Second Hurricane, and played Sakini in Teahouse of the August Moon. He took a hiatus of more than 40 years before returning to the stage with the Annisquam Village Players in Fiddler on the Roof, Kiss Me Kate, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Camelot. He has also participated in Shakespeare and the Law’s dramatic readings of abbreviated versions of Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, Henry V, and Othello, among others, in some great Boston theatre locations such as the Schubert, the Majestic, and Calderwood. Nat is pleased to have a role in this great patriotic production, thanks his family for their support, and hopes especially that his six grandchildren enjoy it.
Bill Brauner (The Rev. John Witherspoon) feels greatly blessed to performing in his eighth MLT production. Past roles have included the Rev. Canon Chasuble (Importance of Being Earnest), Braithwaite (Billy Elliot), Montague (Romeo and Juliette), Brownlow (Oliver!) and Candyman (Willy Wonka). Bill lives in Salem with his lovely wife, Holly, and his two personable dogs. He is thankful for Bobby and the other thoroughly crazy people that made this show happen.
Patrick Cheney (George Read) began acting in the sixth grade as Michael in Peter Pan. After a 39-year hiatus, he returned to the stage in Neverland Theater’s production of Les Misérables. He has performed with Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe as Pistol in The Merry Wives of Windsor, King Leontes in a scene from A Winter’s Tale, and Curan in King Lear. In addition, Patrick has been playing the roles of arborist and paramedic on the North Shore for many years. Patrick is excited to do his first show with MLT after seeing so many of their wonderful production.
Jim Robinson (Stephen Hopkins) has appeared in The Best Man, Under Milk Wood, Book of Days, The Tempest, The Crucible, and Macbeth with Salem Theatre Company. At MLT, he has appeared in Sondheim, Richard Rodgers, Twelve Angry Men, and Christmas Is … . With Mugford Street Players, Jim has appeared in Old Times, Habeas Corpus, A Christmas Carol, No Man’s Land, The Dresser, Our Country’s Good, and The Wind in the Willows. In Boston, Jim has appeared as Pridament in The Illusion, Chebutykin in The Three Sisters, Mr. Vane in Blue Kettle, and Andy in Moonlight.
Dave Levy (James Wilson) returns to MLT for the first time since 2013’s Spamalot. He is excited to return to his hometown and the theatre in which he first started acting at as a lost boy in 1993’s Peter Pan, followed by other roles in South Pacific and Annie. The twenty-year break was far too long, and Dave has appeared more recently with the Footlight Club as “Big” Josh in Big and as Conrad Birdie in Bye Bye, Birdie. Other local credits include Ethan in The Full Monty (Wellesley Players), Hamlet (True Rep Theatre), and the Bandleader in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (The Umbrella). A Southie resident, when not acting, Dave works in media relations and teaches communications and media at UMass-Boston. He wants to thank his wife, Liz, and his supportive family and friends, and to give a special “Sit Down!” to his father-in-law, John Adams.
Jay Pawlyk (Edward Rutledge) is an English teacher at St. John’s Prep and co-music director at St. Agnes Parish in Middleton, MA. He and his wife, Laura, and children, Julia and Daniel, have enjoyed performing together in several shows. He loves living in such a loudly harmonious house. Some of Jay’s notable past performances include Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Enjolras in Les Misérables, and the Sergeant in The Pirates of Penzance (all with Neverland Theatre). Jay is thrilled to work with such an amazing cast and crew at MLT and thanks his family and friends for their support.
Tom Edmonds (Roger Sherman) is honored to have been chosen to be a part of this incredibly gifted cast. Thanks to Bobby Kerrigan, the entire production staff, and MLT for
this opportunity. Performing for over 35 years, Tom has appeared in many musicals and revues throughout the North Shore. Man of La Mancha, Fiddler on the Roof, Godspell, The Fantasticks, and My Fair Lady have been some of his favorites. For many years, Tom was a member of Crossroad Company, appearing at The Prince Restaurant Dinner Theater and various other venues. Crossroad Company’s annual musical revue, Christmas Is …, was recently revived here at MLT with many of the original cast members. Other MLT shows include summer revues: Side by Side by Sondheim, Richard Rodgers: The Sound of His Music, Irving Berlin Loves America, Gershwin and Porter: Who Could Ask for Anything More?, and The Best of Broadway. Tom has also been performing with Bova Productions for the past 20 years, initially in musical revues to raise funds for MSPCC. Most recently, Bova Productions has been presenting dinner-theater shows and is available for corporate fundraisers. Perhaps Tom’s favorite role is that of featured soloist at Immanuel Church in his hometown of Beverly, MA.
Tom Ostrowski (Robert Livingston) has been blessed to perform with many good friends in local area productions with Neverland Theatre, Sudbury Savoyards, The Theatre Company of Saugus, Savoyard Light Opera Company, Roxbury Repertory Theatre, and Voices of Hope, a local nonprofit dedicated to raising money to help fight cancer. Some of his favorite performances include Samuel in Pirates of Penzance, Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof, Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest, Officer O’Hara in Arsenic and Old Lace and Mr. Gilmer/Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird. Tom would like to thank his family and friends for their support, especially his dad for sharing his love of music. Thank God for so many good gifts!
Gary Ames (Josiah Bartlett) is excited to be performing in the especially relevant 1776 at Abbot Hall. Gary is a Salem native and MLT vet, having most recently played Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest this January. Other roles include Juror 5 in Twelve Angry Men, the Emcee in Cabaret, and Bernstein/Luce/Skip/other characters in Little Shop of Horrors. Past roles at MLT include Bobby in Company, Combeferre in Les Misérables, and Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods. Gary would like to congratulate the production crew for pulling off the impressive feat of wrangling a cast of such proportions and rowdiness. It has been great to work with so many old and new faces in one production. Gary would like to thank his friends, family, and wife for their constant support.
David Scannell (Dr. Lyman Hall) of Peabody, MA, is thrilled by the opportunity to perform in one of his all-time favorite shows, 1776, after playing Juror 6 in MLT’s Twelve Angry Men last spring. David’s credits include the Beast in the Annisquam Village Players’ production of Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast last August and the Ghost of Matthew Maule at the House of the Seven Gables last October. In his long career, David has played the King in The King and I six times, including three professional productions with the Reagle Players in Waltham, MA. Other roles include Bill Sykes in Oliver!, the Beast in Beauty and the Beast (nominated for best actor in a musical by EMACT), Jacques Brel in Side by Side by Sondheim, Richard Rodgers in Richard Rodgers: The Man and His Music, Irving Berlin Loves America, Gershwin/Porter: Who Could Ask For Anything More?, The World of Kander and Ebb, and the revival of his favorite revue, Christmas Is …, all for Marblehead Little Theatre. David played Daddy Warbucks in Annie and shared the role of Thénardier in Les Misérables at Neverland Theater. David’s other credits include playing the angel Gabriel in the world premiere of Bus Stop Atheist, Judas in Jesus Christ, Superstar with Moonlight Productions, and John the Baptist/Judas in Godspell with the Peninsula Players of Nahant (winner of best ensemble and best production in the New England Theater Conference, placing fourth in the national competition in Memphis, TN, and best east of the Mississippi). That ensemble led to the creation of the musical theater troupe, Crossroad Company, for whom David was co-founder and first president. Crossroad Company performed revues at The Prince Restaurant in Saugus, MA, from 1979 to 1989.
Bruce Whear (Andrew McNair) first walked onto the MLT stage in a production of Annie, Get Your Gun as Li’l Jake in 1972. The show took 6 months from beginning to end with countless volunteers and performers. Now, many similar MLT productions are executed in 6 weeks. The times have changed but not the craft and love of it all. Bruce proudly walks the stage with his talented friends and colleagues in this wonderful, witty production, so masterfully orchestrated by his dear friend for life, Bobby Kerrigan. Thanks, too, to Heidi for sharing life’s stage with him forever.
Thomas Smoker (Courier) is happy to be returning to the main stage with MLT after performing in several cabarets and fundraising events. Other incredible moments with this company include the Younger Brother in Ragtime, and being the music director for Oliver! and It’s A Wonderful Life (both Kerrigan productions). Most recently, Thomas performed King Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors. In the past, he has performed with the Handel and Haydn Society, the Masterworks Chorale in Boston, the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and Mount Gretna Theater. He is grateful for this opportunity to work alongside such honorable men and women.
Marion Brite (Painter) is delighted to be part of yet another Bobby Kerrigan invitational, even if she is playing a man—again. She is a painter on stage and off, and makes her living painting pet portraits under the name “Alicia Irick Cohen: The Paint Girl.”
Kelly Murphy (Choreographer) is excited to make her choreographic debut with MLT and to work with Bobby Kerrigan again—this time on the production side. She has worked throughout Massachusetts both onstage as a performer and offstage as a choreographer and director. Kelly performed with MLT as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (way back when) and as Little Eva in The King and I. Kelly has served as choreographer for several other groups, including Wellesley Players, Concord Players, Pentucket Players, and Burlington Players, and as choreographer/director for Stage 284 in Hamilton. She has also choreographed at several area schools. She was a proud cast member of the award-winning Radium Girls production at the AACTF festival in Indiana with her husband, Sean, and she is excited to share yet another memorable show experience with him.
Susan Parker (Stage Manager) started with MLT as a Jitterbug dancer in The Wizard of Oz in 2007 and never looked back. She has also appeared in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oklahoma!, Willy Wonka as Mrs. Bucket, Oliver!, The Drowsy Chaperone, Inherit The Wind, and It’s A Wonderful Life: The Radio Play. She is a member of the comedy improv troupe Accidentally on Purpose. Susan co-produced The Odd Couple, Company, American Idiot, and Billy Elliott. Susan has produced The Tempest, Macbeth, and The Importance of Being Earnest. She has been stage manager for Twelve Angry Men, August Osage County, Violet, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Godspell 2012 Revival, for which she received the 2014 DASH Award for best stage management. Susan serves on MLT’s board of directors as the secretary. She is co-chair of the marketing committee and headlines PR. Susan has had a hand in more than sixty productions in her 10 years with MLT. In her spare time, Susan is a Spinning® instructor at Leap Fitness in Marblehead and a dental assistant at the office of Dr. Darryl Smith, DDS, in Swampscott. Susan is looking forward to her next production at MLT, where she will co-produce Rock of Ages. Note from Susan: Thank you to the cast and crew of 1776 for your dedication and laughs along the way. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Bobby Kerrigan for asking me to stage manage for you once again. Your energy is endless and your enthusiasm is contagious. Thank you also to the love of my life, Stella … I mean Bob.
Laura Dillon (Costumer) is thrilled to be working with this talented cast and crew. She grew up in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and has also lived in Hawaiʻi and Japan. She originally moved to the frigidly cold land of Massachusetts to attend college, where she specialized in 17th- and 18th-century English literature, Celtic archaeology, and other forms of not making money. She further honed this last skill while studying medieval labor law in law school. She is very interested in history and historical costumes. Over the last 7 years, she has costumed or worked on costumes for various shows, including Into the Woods and Best of Broadway with MLT; Sister Act, A Little Night Music, and The Light In the Piazza with NextDoor Theater; and The Little Mermaid and Les Misérables. She lives in Lynnfield with her husband, son, and an African Grey parrot, and frequently visits her daughter, who lives in NYC.
Andrew Barnett (MLT Technical Director) Following his children’s interest into the world of theater, Andy designed and built his first set at the Marblehead Middle (Village) School in 1992 for “Fiddler on the Roof”. Since then he has built sets for Rebel Shakespeare Company, Endicott College, Gordon College, Opera Boston, Gloucester Stage, Roxbury Center for the Arts, MassJam, Perkins School for the Blind, Boston Center for the Arts, Mssng Lnks, and Marblehead Little Theatre. Andy has been a member of the production team as master carpenter, designer and technical director of Watertown based Revels, Inc. for more than 20 years, creating for The Summer Revels, Riversing and The Christmas Revels. His work is dedicate to his wife Jessica, sons Nick and Jeremy and their spouses, and grandchildren Jacob, Vivienne and Rose, and to Marblehead Little Theater for providing great live theater to patrons of all ages.