'Church and State' takes aim at guns

By Winter Dorval - Staff Reporter

Church and State takes aim at gun control at the Burien Actor's Theater.

This Northwest premiere of Church and State is showing through May 20.

The play begins minutes before the campaign speech of Charles Whitmore.

He is running for re-election as a senator with the campaign slogan "Jesus is my running mate," and strong support from voters who live by their faith.

In the wake of a fatal school shooting, which led to the funeral of his son's classmate, Whitmore voices his concerns over the importance of action over prayer during an interview with a blogger.

Whitmore's campaign manager, Alex Klein, and wife, Sara Whitmore, discourage his revised campaign speech, which reflects his new anti-gun position and his doubts about faith.

Albie Clementi's simple but detailed set creates the right environment to bring Church and State to life.

This play was written by Jason Odell Williams.

Lighting by Zanna King adds to the experience, particularly when the characters are watching television, with well-placed flashes and color changes.

Sound by Erik Dickman works well with the script to create a dynamic and inclusive performance.

The effects are well-timed, and support the character's actions, particularly the crowd noises during speeches.

The cast includes Gianni Truzzi as Charles Whitmore, Caitlin Gilman as Alex Klein, Brynne Garman as Sara Whitmore, and Max Lopuszynski as Tom, Marshall, the reporter, and the security guy.

This production is directed by Rochelle H. Flynn, and Maggie Larrick.

Costume design by Vivian K. Smith brought the characters to life, and Heather Bernadette is the stage manager.

William's script swings from profound to mundane, with powerful and moving lines, mixed with somewhat boring and unimportant dialogue.

Nonetheless, each character brings humor and witty remarks to the stage, and helps to offset the serious topic this production brings to the table.

Williams takes on an important issue, but the journey there isn't always on target.

Overall, this is a good production of an uneven script.

Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and matinees on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for general admission, $17 for seniors and active military, $12 for a group rate (10 or more), and $10 for students.

The Burien Actors Theater address is 14501 4th Ave S.W., Burien.

For tickets and more information visit burienactorstheatre.org/.

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