Actors’ Mission presents “Church and State” tonight at Broadway Theater

The Actors’ Mission will present “Church and State” tonight at the Broadway Theater in Rock Springs, a play shedding light on issues of gun control, faith, and social media presence.
(From left to right, Erika Hunsaker as Alex Klein, Jay Volsey as Senator Charles Whitmore, and Danielle Barnett as Sara Whitmore) a Wyo4News photo.

By Dylan Rohrer,

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (Jan. 16, 2020) — The Sweetwater County Actors’ Mission will present “Church and State” tonight, Friday and Saturday at the Broadway Theater.

The play sheds light on issues of gun control, faith, and social media, as well as providing a healthy dose of comedic relief throughout the production.

This production tells the story of Senator Charles Whitmore, played by Jay Vosley, who has a crisis of faith after a school shooting rocks his hometown. This crisis is revealed to both his conservative Christian wife, Sara Whitmore, played by Danielle Barnett, and his liberal Jewish campaign manager Alex Klein, played by Erika Hunsaker, after an independent journalists’ interview with Whitmore begins to go viral on Twitter.

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The play was written by Jason Odell Williams and is directed by Rock Springs native and Actors’ Mission board President Rick Cozad.

Cozad has acted in a number of past productions with the Mission. He participated in “Dearly Departed” as a side cast member, as well as “The Nerd”, in which Cozad held one of the lead roles in the production.

“Both of them were very fun,” Cozad commented.

This production will be the first that Cozad has directed.

“I’m learning a lot,” Cozad said when asked how his first experience as a director has gone. “It’s a new experience, being able to learn the other side of the coin. The experiences that I got from the other plays, from the other directors, as well as shadowing some other productions, has definitely helped.”

Cozad claims that the production has gone “very well,” so far.

CJ Martinez plays the role of Tom in “Church and State”.

“I’m very fortunate that I have some very, very talented actors,” Cozad noted. “One of the challenges has been meshing the schedules.”

“These are people that have jobs; they’re parents, husbands, wives, and have personal lives.”

“If they were not so talented, I don’t know that we could have pulled this off.”

“I’m very excited about all of my cast,” Cozad mentioned. “Particularly the three main characters, are very dynamic. They bring with them a lot of emotion and these actors pull that off very well.”

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Cozad is certain that this production will impact the attending audience.

“This play is going to deliver the message that they (the audience) want to hear,” he said. “They will hear the message that best suits them. What I hope people get from this is the recognition of the

Actors’ Mission and the talent that we have here. Understanding that we put on a good product, a great product, for free.”

“I want people to recognize the Actors’ Mission and the people that work hard to make things happen.”

Admission to the event is free, with food provided before the show begins.

The first production can be seen tonight, Jan. 16 at the Broadway Theater. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the show beginning at 7 p.m.

Other showings will be held Friday, Jan. 17 and Saturday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24 and Saturday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26 Matinee at 2 p.m., doors open at 1 p.m.

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