“1776” to be presented by Empty Space Players

The Empty Space Players from LSU at Alexandria will present “1776,” a witty, poignant and entertaining musical about the creation of the Declaration of Independence, Aug. 21-24, at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center, announced director Richard Gwartney.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. nightly, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee Aug. 24. All tickets are $15. Reservations are suggested but not required by calling 473-6573 or 473-6581.

“This is an incredibly challenging and difficult show to do requiring many good male voices. It rarely is seen in regional or university theatre,” said Gwartney. “There has been interest in performing this show for many years by local actors, and I think we have the right pool of talent.” A 28-member cast represents many of the iconic figures of American history during one of the country’s most contentious periods.

Gwartney, associate professor of theatre and communication studies, said the election year and the Olympics “provided a convergence of patriotic energy that made the timing seem appropriate.”

“1776,” with music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards and book by Peter Stone, originally was performed on Broadway in 1968. The show opens a five-production schedule by the Empty Space Players for the 2008-09 school year.

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