CHURCH & STATE
a Backstage at CPAC production, produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
Saturday, January 4, 10:00 am
Sunday, January 5, 1:00 pm
Three days before his bid for reelection, in the wake of a school shooting in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, a Republican U.S. senator makes an off-the-cuff comment to a blogger that gets leaked in "the Twitter," calling into question the senator's stance on guns and God. As his devoutly Christian wife and liberal Jewish campaign manager try to contain the damage, this look at how religion influences politics and how politics has become a religion is simultaneously funny, heartbreaking, and uplifting.
SENATOR CHARLES “CHARLIE” WHITMORE (R-NC): Male, 40s-50s. Born and raised in North Carolina, he is a former state senator, now incumbent Junior U.S. Senator up for reelection. His father was governor of North Carolina for many years before he died. Charlie’s two older brothers are members of the North Carolina House of Representatives. Though not gunning for it himself, the party is grooming Charlie for a presidential run in a few years. Charlie is a man filled with doubt. But he has plenty of charisma and sex appeal. He’s a rare honest politician and gifted public speaker. A real family man who loves his wife, sons, and constituents.
SARA WHITMORE: Female. 40s. Charlie’s wife. A big, brassy, former real estate agent, now stay-at-home mom to their boys Matthew (9, athletic and fearless) and Luke (6, artistic and sensitive). She is sweet, charming, and instantly likable. Even when she’s bossing you around, she does it with an irresistible smile. More “street smart” than “book smart,” but can still hold her own with the big boys. Also born and raised in North Carolina. Loves her family, Jesus, and the Bible. She’s a tough Southern woman with a soft underbelly.
ALEX KLINE: Female. 30s-40s. Charlie’s campaign manager. A fast-talking, no-nonsense liberal Jew from New York whose star is on the rise as a go-to campaign manager. Hired by the Whitmore campaign so she wouldn’t defeat him working for the other side. She is great at her job, but knows her career is on the line if this election goes badly. Her self-doubt bubbles to the surface at times, but she’s clearly a professional at the top of her game.
TOM/MARSHALL/REPORTER/SECURITY GUY: Male, 20s-30s. Tom is a paid intern with the campaign. Simple with a good heart, Tom is a NC State graduate and North Carolina boy through and through; more “country,” while Marshall is more of a “Southern gentleman.” Marshall is a blogger with Christian values but not much journalistic experience. Reporter is a smart, charming, on-the-scene news reporter. Security Guy is a typical non-speaking bodyguard.
Raleigh, North Carolina. A small green room backstage at NC State’s Stewart Theatre.
The play opens on a Saturday evening, twenty minutes before the senator is to address a crowd of supporters, three days before election day.
Later, the same green room shortly after Tuesday’s election results.