The famous classic musical, “1776,” launched at the Ovation Theater in downtown Bakersfield Friday night, but this time the story has a new twist to empower women.
"We're doing it in time for July 4 and the show is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence and about John Adams, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and their fight for independence for America. Usually it's done using all men, our sort of slant on it is that we changed all of the forefathers to be played by women," Artistic Director and Set Designer Hal Friedman said.
Other than Friedman, the entire production team as well as the cast is primarily women.
Actress Kat Clowes, who stars as John Adams in the musical said, “What's surprising about this show is how relevant it is now, they we're fighting for the same thing 250 years ago that we're still fighting for now."
Clowes also said that rehearsing for this role was not difficult because of the gender switch, "You're getting to know the person and so I didn't consider gender when I was rehearsing or when I'm acting. It's the reaction of the person and their background and their experiences and how they would react accordingly.”
Show Director, Maria Tania Bandes Becerra Wine Garden said the spin on the show was designed to show the humanitarian side of each character, “You really see them and the struggle, so it really brings well I think to our audience just that sense of these were real people who struggled with real things just like you and I do and their gender wasn't necessarily the issue that wasn't what they were struggling with," Tania Bandes Becerra Wine Garden said.
Friedman said, “I think given everything that is going on lately with the me too movement, and women empowerment you know trying to say you know hey we are a part of this country too, I think it's important to take note of that."
According to the director the cast features women from all different educational backgrounds which adds to the diversity of the play. They said that some of the most talented actresses in Kern County are also part of the cast.
The musical will run on Friday, Saturday and Sundays until July 22, 2018.