WHO'S WHO IN THE MEDIA THEATRE'S '1776'....DAVID NIKOLAS IS DR. LYMAN HALL

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.
David Nikolas, who appears as Dr. Lyman Hall in Media's "1776"


One of those men was Dr. Lyman Hall, of Georgia. Actor David Nikolas portrays Hall in The Media Theatre's production of "1776" April 13 through May 22.

"Dr. Lyman Hall is a newcomer to the Congress, and historically, he came from a small community of "radicals" seeking independence in an otherwise-loyalist colony," Nikolas said. "I think that this, coupled with his experience as a doctor of both theology and medicine, made him a more critical thinker than the more ideological members of that congress who were convinced of their convictions.  He was ready to hear both sides of the argument and make a decision based on his judgement.  These are traits that I try to embody as a rule, never rushing to judgement without carefully weighing the facts of a situation."

In regards to the humor in the production, with several of the roles depicted having been written in such a way that they may, on first glance, appear to be one-dimensional, Nikolas said, "We speak to each other with humor every day - it's part of the way we communicate, so using humor to help tell this story is simply a way to make the information more accessible and consumable."

The show had its premiere on Broadway in 1969, winning three Tony Awards.  Nikolas is a fan of the score. "The music for a show like this helps set the tone for the period," he stated. "Stylistically, by including the minuet and the more classical motifs in the musical numbers it gives the audience the feel for the time period."

He summed up his feelings about the show with a nod to those who signed the Declaration. "There are such important lessons to be learned through the portrayal of our founding fathers.  In debate, whenever discussion devolves into attacks and name-calling, progress stops.  That's not just a dramatic device - that's reality.  If audiences can take away an insight into how critical thought and examination of the reality of a situation can help convince others of their point of view, I'll feel like I've contributed positively to our discourse."

David Nikolas is having his debut on The Media Theatre stage with "1776" as Dr. Lyman Hall. He has been seen at New Jersey's Eagle Theatre in "Assassins" and "The Graduate" as well as at Rose Valley's Hedgerow Theatre in "A Murder Has Been Arranged". Next up he will appear at The Pitman Theatre of NJ as Franz in "The Producers".

Of course, everyone is aware that "1776" takes place right in Philadelphia. "It seems like Media is the opportune place for a revival of this classic musical," Nikolas said.

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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