To commemorate the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Department of Theater at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and NewYorkRep will take part in a nationwide series of staged readings of Jason Odell Williams’ Church & State. The UCLA reading will take place February 14 at 5:30 PM at 1330 Macgowan Hall.
UCLA TFT student Anna Mader will direct student cast members Carl Ballantine, Mary Alex Daniels, Beatrice Brown, and Jacob Cherry.
Seen Off-Broadway in 2017, Church & State tells the story of a gun-loving senator, who, running for re-election, examines his position on the Second Amendment following a shooting at his children’s school. The play explores how religion, guns, and social media influence our political system.
The performance also features sound design by Yasmine El-Tayeb and dramaturgy by Danielle Jensen, a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The evening is produced by UCLA TFT students Olivia Robertson and Emma Wenkert.
Other university theatres that will present the reading February 14 include Indiana’s Butler University, The University of Kansas, Tulane University, Pittsburgh’s Point Park University, Miami’s New World School of the Arts, and North Carolina’s Elon University.
NewYorkRep is partnering with The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which will provide speakers to lead talk-backs following performances at some locations, including UCLA TFT.
NewYorkRep Artistic Director Markus Potter noted, “I was proud to direct the Off-Broadway production of Church & State, and now honored to partner with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to use the message of the play to stand in solidarity with the Parkland community, to deliver a unified message to the country that we reject blood-soaked apathy, and demand common sense gun safety legislation.”
Tickets are complimentary and will be available at UCLA TFT prior to the reading.