After a two-year wait, Hollister native Brooke Simpson will soon make her Broadway debut at Harvard University’s American Reparatory Theater in the revival of the Broadway musical, “1776.”
Performances at the American Reparatory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts will continue through July, then at the Roundabout Theater in New York in September.
The Tony Award-winning musical “1776” presents a look at the Founding Fathers of the United States through events leading up to the Declaration of Independence.
According to its website, ART was founded in 1980 with the goal of “producing groundbreaking work driven by risk-taking, artistic inquiry, and passionate research.” He has received numerous accolades, including multiple Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and a Jujamcyn Prize for his outstanding contribution to the development of creative talent.
Simpson, the daughter of Mike and Jimille Mills, has already made her mark in the entertainment world, reaching the finals of “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent.” After reaching the final of “The Voice” in 2017, she launched her singing/songwriting career in Los Angeles, California.
Competing on “America’s Got Talent” in 2021 represented the next step for Simpson as she continues to grow as a performer and as a person. She has also worked with Miley Cyrus, her trainer on “The Voice”, Sia and Taboo from The Black Eyed Peas.
Simpson landed a role in the 2020 revival of “1776” and was thrilled to be part of a production that would present events from the past in a way that reflected America today.
Then, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed production as directors and cast members conducted preparations individually and through Zoom meetings. It would be months before the actors could rehearse in person.
Simpson admits that before rehearsals began, she was apprehensive about taking this next step in her music career.
“Before rehearsals even started, I had a lot of anxiety about it just because I was entering a new world of music alongside so many experts and big names,” she said. declared. “But from day one, April 1, I knew my life had changed forever. I was greeted with so much kindness and love. I’m obsessed with all this casting and company. It has been tough, but I learned a lot as a singer, actor, dancer and general performer.
Last month, the cover of “1776” finally made its appearance. The production is directed by Diane Paulus, Tony Award-winning director and executive director of ART, and Jeffrey Page, Emmy-nominated choreographer who has worked with Beyonce’s creative team for more than 12 years. Simpson previously said Paulus expressed interest in her talent after she appeared on “The Voice” and wanted her to take part in a reading for “1776.”
“I joined her and the team in 2019 during a production workshop and I accompanied (during) been rolling ever since,” Simpson said.
Simpson portrays Connecticut’s Roger Sherman. According to the Connecticut State Judicial Branch Law Library Services, Sherman is known for his role in crafting the Connecticut Compromise, which resolved a constitutional drafting impasse. He is also credited as the only person to sign the Continental Association of 1774, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution.
After 10 previews, Opening Night arrived at the end of May. Having performances at Harvard University’s American Repertory Theater gave cast members access to on-campus scholars to explore more deeply the lives of the historical figures they portray, Simpson noted. . In September, it’s on Broadway.
For Simpson, there’s no doubt that the time and hard work it took to bring “1776” was worth it.
“It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and definitely something I would love to continue to pursue with my pop music,” she said. “I’m so grateful to Diane Paulus for seeing something in me that I didn’t even know I had in me.”
Simpson described the production as a work of art, and its crew, company, and cast as incredible.
“Our directors Diane Paulus and Jeffrey Page have collaborated to create something so beautiful and necessary, and I’m beyond honored to be a part of it,” she said.