Megan Sikora and Andy Talen to Join the Campaign at CHURCH & STATE This Spring

Megan Sikora and Andy Talen to Join the Campaign at CHURCH & STATE This SpringProducer Charlotte Cohn with SCS Innovations LLC, Franklin Theatrical Group, Neil Gooding Productions, Ralph Meranto/JCC CenterStage, Brierpatch Productions, Karen Cohen/Jack Hayflick, Bonnie E. Lautenberg, in association with NewYorkRep, announced today cast changes at Church & State, the critically acclaimed play by Jason Odell Williams, a "Best Play" nominee from the Off Broadway Alliance. Directed by Markus Potter (Stalking the Bogeyman), Church & State is currently playing an open-ended engagement at New World Stages (340 W. 50th Street - between 8th & 9th Avenues).

Megan Sikora (Holiday Inn, "Chuck") and Andy Talen (The Blue Man Group, The Tempest) will join Rob Nagle ("Castle," "Mad Men") and Christa Scott-Reed (The Pitman Painters, Relativity). Ms. Sikora will join the cast on May 26, Mr. Talen on May 29.

The creative team includes David Goldstein(scenic design), Burke Brown (lighting design), Dianne K. Graebner (costume design), and Erik T. Lawson (sound design). Roumel Reaux is Production Stage Manager.

Church & State is a fast-paced, seriously funny take on faith, politics, and "The Twitter." Three days before his bid for re-election in North Carolina, a Republican U.S. Senator makes an off-the-cuff comment to a blogger that calls into question his belief in God. The Senator's devoutly Christian wife and liberal Jewish campaign manager try desperately to contain the damage with mixed results. This brutally honest and surprisingly funny new play sheds light on how religion, guns, and social media influence our politics and our politicians. (No politicians were harmed in the making of this play.)

Originally developed with Artistic director Ralph Meranto and JCC CenterStage, Church & State was produced as a?National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere at JCC CenterStage in Rochester and The Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles where it recently received three Ovation Award nominations including Best Playwriting for an Original Play, Best Production (Intimate Theatre), and Best Lead Actor in a Play.

Church & State is produced by Charlotte Cohn, Brierpatch Productions, Neil Gooding Productions, Franklin Theatrical Group, Ralph Meranto/JCC CenterStage, Karen Cohen/Jack Hayflick, Bonnie E. Lautenberg and SCS Innovations LLC, in association with NewYorkRep. Casting is by Wojcik | Seay Casting and Brierpatch Productions provides General Management.

The creative team includes David Goldstein?(scenic design), Burke Brown (lighting design), Dianne K. Graebner (costume design), and Erik T. Lawson (sound design). Roumel Reaux is Production Stage Manager.


Megan Sikora (Sara Whitmore) can be seen on the new Netflix series Gypsy starring Naomi Watts and in the film Chuck starring Liev Schreiber. Her Broadway/NYC credits include Holiday Inn (Lila Dixon), The Nance (Standby), Under My Skin (Nanette), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Encores!/Gloria), How To Succeed...(Miss Krumholtz), Promises, Promises (Turkey Lurkey), Curtains (Bambi), Applause (Encores!/Bonnie), Showboat (Carnegie Hall/Ellie), Wicked (u/s Glinda/Nessarose), Dracula (u/s Lucy/Mina), Wonderful Town, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Ruth), 42nd Street (Lorraine), MTC's The Wild Party. Regional: Kiss Me Kate (Bianca/The Old Globe/Hartford Stage), Can Can (Claudine/Papermill Playhouse), A Christmas Story (Miss Shields/TUTS), Cabaret (Sally Bowles/Marriott Lincolnshire), Guys and Dolls (Adelaide), White Christmas (Judy). TV/ Film: "Braindead", "Elementary", "Boardwalk Empire", and "The Bleeder". xoB&E Proud Equity member since 1996.

Andy Talen (Tom/Marshall/Security Guy/News Anchor) New York: Blue Man Group (Astor Place Theatre), The Tempest, Iphigenia 2.0 (Classic Stage Company),The Fallen (Abington Theatre), The Two Reds (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Caucasian Chalk Circle (Columbia Stages). Regional: Madison Repertory Theatre, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, over ten Productions at Shakespeare & Company in the Berkshires including Love's Labor's Lost, Mother Courage (with John Douglas Thompson & Olympia Dukakis), Les Faux Pas,Richard III, Winters' Tale, Julius Caesar, The Amorous Quarrel, & Venetian Twins to name a few. Television: "A Crime to Remember" Training: MFA Columbia University. Thanks to Charlotte, Jason, Markus & Wojcik/Seay for this opportunity. Biggest love to his family.

Jason Odell Williams (Playwright) is an Emmy-nominated writer and producer. His latest play, Church & State, was recently nominated for three L.A. Ovation Awards including Best Playwriting for an Original Play. His play Handle With Care (published by Dramatists Play Service) was a New York Times Critics' Pick and 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); Someone Else (NC Stage); and The Science of Guilt (DR2). Readings: Primary Stages, The Blank Theatre, The Lark and EST. Jason's first novel, Personal Statement, was optioned for a three-picture deal. He is currently adapting it for the screen along with developing two new musicals and a new play about family, climate change and the Oscars.

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.

Rob Nagle (Senator Charles Whitmore) is a proud member of the Antaeus Theatre Company and the Troubadour Theater Company. Recent credits include the world premieres of Jason Odell Williams' Church & State (Ovation nominee, Best Lead Actor in a Play, Skylight Theatre Company), Meghan Brown's The Kill-Or-Dies (Electric Footlights and Moving Arts), Melissa Ross' Of Good Stock and Samuel D. Hunter's Rest (both at South Coast Repertory), as well as James Still's Appoggiatura at Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Other credits include Samuel D. Hunter's Pocatello at Rogue Machine, Itamar Moses' Completeness at Vs. Theatre Company, and James Joyce's The Dead at Open Fist Theatre Company. Other theaters include Portland Center Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Old Globe Theatre, Centerstage, San Jose Repertory and Shakespeare Theatre Company. Film includes Bad Samaritan, Mother's Day, Boost, Fishing Naked, New Year's Eve, Life As We Know It, The Soloist, Fun With Dick and Jane, Cellular, and American Wedding. Television includes recurring roles on "Eli Stone," "Lincoln Heights" and "Dawson's Creek," as well as guest appearances on "The Librarians," "Grey's Anatomy," "CSI," "Criminal Minds," "Castle," "Major Crimes," "NCIS," "Mad Men," "Cold Case," "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," "Without A Trace," "Everwood," "The Guardian," and "Buffy The Vampire Slayer." Training: Northwestern University. Wife: Heather Allyn. Pug: Roosevelt. Geek:

Christa Scott-Reed (Alex Klein)was most recently seen starring opposite Richard Dreyfuss in Mark St. Germain's Relativity at TheatreWorks. BROADWAY: The Pitmen Painters. NATIONAL TOUR: C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce. OFF-BROADWAY: The Great Divorce (Fellowship for Performing Arts); The Talls (world premiere, Second Stage); The Freedom of the City (Irish Repertory Theatre); Celebration and The Room, The Bald Soprano and the Lesson, (Atlantic Theater Company); Beasley's Christmas Party, Museum, PULLMAN CAR HIAWATHA (Keen Company); Deathbed (world premiere, McGinn-Cazale); Marion Bridge (Urban Stages); The Voysey Inheritance (Mint Theater Company). REGIONAL THEATRE: On Golden Pond (with Keir Dullea, Bucks County Playhouse); Argonautika and Honour (with Kathleen Chalfant, Berkeley Rep); Restoration Comedy and The Food Chain (The Old Globe); The Little Dog Laughed (Intiman Theatre); As You Like It, Crimes of the Heart, and the world premiere of Charles L. Mee's Limonade Tous les Jours (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Other Regional: Paper Mill Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Pioneer Theatre, Barrington Stage, Syracuse Stage, Denver Center, Cleveland Playhouse, and more. FILM & TV: 30 Rock, The Impossibilities, Eden, Gossip Girl, 666 Park Avenue, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Love Life, New Amsterdam, As the World Turns.

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