Gun Violence Prevention At Center Of Politically Charged Drama

Gun Violence Prevention At Center Of Politically Charged DramaMatrix Theatre Company closes its 2017 - 2018 Mainstage Season with the political drama, Church & State, opening June 8 and running through July 1. The production runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM and Sundays at 3PM. All performances are presented at Matrix Theatre Company, located at 2730 Bagley Avenue in the heart of Mexicantown. Tickets are $22 for adults and $17 for students, seniors, veterans, and active military personnel, and may be purchased in advance or, if available, at the door. Group rates are also available. For further information or to purchase tickets, visit or call (313) 967-0599.

Three days before his bid for re-election, and in the wake of a school shooting in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, a Republican U.S. senator makes an off-the-cuff comment to a blogger that gets leaked on "the Twitter," calling into question his stance on guns and God. As his devoutly Christian wife and liberal, Jewish campaign manager try to contain the damage, this look at how religion influences politics - and vice versa - is simultaneously funny, heartbreaking, and uplifting.

"When we chose this play more than a year ago, we had no idea that a serious gun control movement would have been started by a group of high school students. Matrix Theatre Company firmly believes that anything we adults can do to help that movement along and create safer learning environments for our youth is our obligation. Church & State is a play that crosses party lines to look at real, logical change to our gun control laws - to spare the lives of countless, innocent victims in the future," shared Artistic Director Megan Buckley-Ball.

Written by Jason Odell Williams, the play features Sean Paraventi (Redford) as Senator Charles Whitmore (R-NC); Sonja Marquis (Brighton) as Sara Whitmore; Kaitlyn Valor Bourque (River Rouge) as Alex Klein; and Shane O'Connor (Hazel Park) as Tom/Marshall. The production team includes Lisa Hodge Kander (Holly), Sarah Drum (Westland), Alan Devlin (Dearborn), Anne Suchyta (Dearborn), Neil Koivu (Ferndale), and Amy Schneider (Sterling Heights).

The final dress rehearsal on Thursday, June 7 is a "Pay What You Can" performance. To help eliminate the barrier between audiences and live theatre, patrons can choose to pay whatever amount they want at the door to see the preview show of Church & State. Tickets will be available at the door that evening and can be purchased in advance by calling the box office at 313-967-0599. Doors open at 7:30PM for the 8PM performance.

In its 27th season as a non-profit, community-based theatre, Matrix Theatre Company is located in southwest Detroit and uses the transformative power of theatre to change lives, build community, and foster social justice. Go to for further information. Matrix Theatre Company's Mainstage Season is funded in part by Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Kresge Foundation, and The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Foundation.

Photo Credit: Megan Buckley-Ball

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