JCC presents “Church & State”

Local News

The JCC CenterStage will present “Church & State” October 22 through November 6.

Artistic Director Ralph Meranto discussed the play, which has been timed to debut right before election day.  “Church and State is a world premiere play that we developed with a writer in New York named Jason Odell Williams and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this but it focuses on what happens when a politician lets slip what he’s actually thinking instead of what the party line would prefer him to say,” said Meranto.  “We did start creating this play almost 2 years ago, so who could’ve foreseen how timely it would be to be presenting this play right now.”

The collaborative process for “Church & State” represents part of the JCC CenterStage mission.  “The last half dozen years or so the CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center has been very involved in new play development, working with plays that are being developed and have often gone on to runs off Broadway and in regional theatres across the country,” Meranto said.  “That’s been a very exciting part of our mission in moving forward to bring new works to Rochester and help them in their infancy.  This one is even more so in that we really started with Jason Odell Williams from the very beginning, starting with an idea and a rough draft and he said to me – what do you think, do we have a play here – and we’ve spent the last two years creating it , doing readings in Rochester, in DC and other areas to try and hone the play.  Then it became part of the national new plays network rolling world premiere program, which is very exciting for us, had it’s premiere in Los Angeles where it got rave reviews, audiences loved it, it got extended three times, and now we’ll be coming to Rochester where it all began, opening on October 22.”

Performances are as follows:

Saturday, October 22 at 8:00 p.m. (with special Opening Night reception)

Sunday, October 23 at 2:00 p.m. (ASL interpreted)

Thursday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 29 at 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 30 at 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 5 at 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 6 at 2:00 p.m.

For tickets and more information call (585) 461-2000 or visit the JCC CenterStage website, click here.


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