Jason Odell Williams' CHURCH & STATE Play Gets Readings Before Off-Broadway Debut

By: Oct. 13, 2016
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Charlotte Cohn, in association with NewYorkRep and The Telling Company, to present industry readings of Jason Odell Williams' critically acclaimed play Church & State. The readings will take place Sunday October 23rd at 1PM, Monday October 24th at 7PM, and Tuesday October 25th at 1PM at The Cell Theatre (338 W.23rd St.).

In the wake of an elementary school shooting in his hometown of Raleigh, NC, a Republican U.S. senator makes an off-the-cuff comment to a blogger that not only calls into question the senator's stance on guns, but also his belief in God -- three days before his bid for re-election. As his devoutly Christian wife and liberal Jewish campaign manager try to contain the damage, this look at how religion, guns, and social media influence our political system is simultaneously funny, honest, heartbreaking, and uplifting.

Directed by Markus Potter (Stalking the Bogeyman), the cast features Rob Nagle ("Castle," "Mad Men"), Emily Swallow (Disgraced, "Supernatural"), Stephanie Kurtzuba (The Wolf of Wall Street, Annie), and Jaime Cepero ("Smash").

Originally developed with Artistic director Ralph Meranto and JCC CenterStage, Church & State was produced as a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere at The Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles, CA and JCC CenterStage in Rochester, NY in the summer and fall of 2016.

Church & State will premiere Off-Broadway in 2017. For more about the play, visit churchandstatetheplay.com.


Charlotte Cohn (Producer) was born in Denmark and raised in Israel where she served in the Israeli Army as a Commanding Officer. She is a founding producer of the New York Music Theatre Festival (NYMF) and Mainstreet Musicals. Other producing credits include: Baltimore in Black & White (the cell theatre - Resident Artist), Rated P for Parenthood, The New York Times Critics' Pick Handle With Care (both at the Westside Theater Off-Broadway), and the upcoming Church & State. Charlotte has collaborated with her husband Jason Odell Williams on a variety of writing projects including their screenplay Personal Statement (optioned by former Miramax executive Steve Hutensky) and their TV pilot "Birdland," which was a Top Ten Finalist in the Tracking Board's 2015 Launch Pad Pilot Competition. Charlotte's screenplay By the Book was also a finalist in the NYWIFT 2015 competition, sponsored by Meryl Streep. CharlotteCohn.com

Jason Odell Williams (Playwright) is an Emmy-nominated writer and producer ("Brain Games") as well as an award-winning playwright, novelist and screenwriter. His latest play, Church & State, will be produced as a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere at The Skylight Theatre in L.A. and JCC CenterStage in Rochester, NY. His play Handle With Care (published by Dramatists Play Service) was a New York Times Critics' Pick and ran for over 100 performances Off-Broadway. The play has been produced 21 times in the last five years in the U.S. and Canada. Other plays: Baltimore in Black & White (the cell theatre - Resident Artist); Someone Else (NC Stage); The Science of Guilt (The DR2); Going Offline (Fells Point Corner Theatre);The Jungle Gym (American Globe Theatre). Readings: Primary Stages, The Blank Theatre, The Lark and EST. Jason's first novel, Personal Statement, was optioned for a three-picture deal and he is currently adapting it for the screen with his wife and collaborator Charlotte Cohn.

Markus Potter (Director) is a NYC based director, and the producing artistic director of NewYorkRep. Recent directing: Stalking the Bogeyman at London's Southwark Playhouse and Off-Broadway at New World Stages (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, NY Times Critics' Pick), Lost Boy Found In Whole Foods by Tammy Ryan at The Portland Stage Company, Why You Beasting by David Don Miller (Best of FringeNYC - Time Out NY critic's pick), Someone Else by Jason Odell Williams at NC Stage, as well as directing at Luna Stage and the Weston Playhouse. Potter received his MFA from Columbia University and has taught and guest directed at many MFA/BFA programs around the county including the Guthrie, The Denver Center, AMDA, and Adelphi University. He is currently a mentor to the MFA playwrights at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. MarkusPotter.com

NewYorkRep and The Telling Company (Co-Producer) is an award-winning company committed to telling innovative stories that inspire and compel social change. Recent productions include Stalking The Bogeyman at New World Stages (Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination for New American Play, NY Times Critics' Pick). NewYorkRep.org, thetellingcompany.org

Brierpatch Productions (General Management) is the partnership of Laura Janik Cronin and Scott Newsome providing general management services for theatrical productions, tours and events. Current and previous productions include: Cagney the Musical; One Funny Mother; Dan and Phil: The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire; Phoenix; Handle With Care; Grounded; Tennessee Williams' The Two Character Play; Inner Voices III & IV; Sleeping Rough; Triassic Parq; 7th Monarch; Rest In Pieces; Wallenberg; Tales From The Tunnel; Glimpses of The Moon; The Actors' Studio Drama School MFA Repertory Season (2011 - current). Under Development: The Stone Witch (World Premiere at Berkshire Theatre Group summer 2016).

Wojcik | Seay Casting (Casting) is Scott Wojcik & Gayle Seay. Along with Holly Buczek they cast all mediums. Tours: Vocalosity, Flashdance, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Jekyll & Hyde (National & Korean), Joseph...Dreamcoat, Oklahoma! and A Chorus Line. Off- Broadway includes: Tennessee Williams' The Two Character Play with Amanda Plummer and Brad Dourif, Handle With Care with Carol Lawrence, Triassic Parq, 666 and more. Regional: Multiple seasons/shows for Riverside Theatre-FL, Arvada Center - CO, The Engeman Theatre - NY, Theatre Raleigh-NC, Stages St Louis-MO, Theatre Aspen-CO and Tuacahn PAC-UT. Pilots: "Upstate" and "Stand - In." Films: Best Man In The Dark, Tommy Battles The Silver Sea Dragon, My Prologue. Webseries: "The Fuzz." Currently: "The Hunt" with John Walsh on CNN. www.WScasting.com.


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