‘Church and State’ play aims to stir up conversation about guns

(NCR Online) The U.S. senator from North Carolina is portrayed as an unquestioning supporter of all things red, especially in relationship to God and guns. His convictions are challenged, though, after a shooting at his son’s elementary school leaves 29 dead. Following the funeral for one of the victims, he admits in response to a blogger’s question that the killings are enough to make him doubt God’s existence.

He is running for a third term and his comments go viral. Three days before the election.

Jason Odell Williams, 42, was inspired to write his latest play, “Church and State,” after the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. But he had been thinking about gun violence since at least 2007, with the mass killings at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, a football rival of his alma mater, the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

“I watched the news and saw a candlelight vigil in Charlottesville and it struck a chord with me,” he said during a telephone interview from his home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. “I had been a student there not that long before. It really shook me.”

That incident was followed by the shooting outside a Tucson, Arizona, supermarket in which Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 16 others were shot, six of them fatally. [More]


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