WHO'S WHO IN '1776' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE....LUKE BRAHDT IS RUTLEDGE

When we think of the Tony winning musical "1776", Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards historically based show that has plenty of humor and reminds of the greatness of our forefathers without being a history lesson, our minds immediately conjure images of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. All three are principle roles in the show, and were leaders during the second Continental Congress during which the eventual Declaration of Independence came to fruition. 

However, "1776" also reminds us that there were other men involved in the shaping of our new nation. Some who have, over time, become mere shadows to the triumphant trio. They were, nonetheless, men who assisted in paving the way for our country's eventual independence.

LUKE BRAHDT plays the interesting role of Rutledge in The Media Theatre production which is on stage April 13 through May 22. "Rutledge is an unrepentant slaveholder, which is despicable and indefensible," Brahdt said.

In this day and age, it's difficult for citizens of the USA to remember that a few of our forefathers were, in fact, slaveholders. "In order to relate to this role, I must focus on his personal character traits, many of which are admirable," Brahdt explained.
LUKE BRAHDT
"Rutledge is intelligent," he continued. "He was polite, courageous, and droll. He enjoyed exposing hypocrisy. Not one to shy away from harsh truths, he deflates John Adams and Thomas Jefferson when they indulge in bouts of self-righteousness." 

Brahdt has one of the show's biggest numbers, the baritone rich "Molasses and Rum", which is performed as part of his 'deflating' process in the Congress. With his B.F.A. in Musical Theatre and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point this is the perfect role for him to create in his unique style.

"It's a wonderful thing to be performing this show, especially in the region where the real events actually occurred," stated an enthusiastic Brahdt, a young actor on the brink of creating a career for himself as a professional. "I feel more connected to Philadelphia, and this show truly brings the history to life. With the astounding success of "Hamilton" currently on Broadway, it is enjoyable to be in what is, in a sense, that show's 'prequel'. Plus "1776" has humor, which is always enlivening."

Even a slaveholder has humor? "Humor makes the roles on stage seem real and human," Brahdt said. "The show does not idolize the founding fathers. They are treated as ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances. They bicker, argue, and yes--they enjoy a low brow joke now and then. They were, let's not forget, just men."

"I hope that students who come to see the show will walk away with an image of these famous men who created and signed the Declaration of Independence as normal human beings who rose to this astounding challenge," Brahdt said. "They were not perfect, which is inspiring, because it means they were approachable. Furthermore, I hope the students recognize how they resolved their arguments. Through compromise and meaningful debate, they were able to accomplish the seemingly impossible."

Luke Brahdt moved to Philadelphia a little over a year ago and has performed with People's Light, The Mauckingbird Theatre Company, and Act II Playhouse. Next up, he'll be seen as Antipholus of Ephesus in "The Comedy Of Errors" with Delaware Shakespeare Festival this summer. 

For tickets to "1776" call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. The show is directed by Jennie Eisenhower. It's on April 13 through May 22. 









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