REVIEWS

Playwright Jason Odell Williams is a postmodern Clifford Odets. Yet Williams is no mere sloganeer, and ‘Church’ is no broadside. Williams avoids demonizing his conservative Southerners, who are winning, strikingly intelligent, and above all, sincere in their beliefs…. The moral struggle that follows fuels a sophisticated dialectic that presents both sides of the gun debate…. It’s surprisingly subtle and gripping entertainment. Simply superb!”  

– Los Angeles Times  

Church & State will be heading East soon as it makes its well deserved journey across country. This is a powerful, often humorous, and highly contemporary piece about a North Carolina senator running for re-election.... The play has several surprises, four fascinating characters, and so many lines that resonate. Even though the character is not Trump-like, per se, those on his campaign beg him not to go off script, at onetime asking, “sir, are you trying to self-sabotage”? The playwright, of course, is happy to see the play get such strong attention, but also admits he hopes it becomes obsolete... meaning that the country finally stops embarrassing itself and does something about guns.”

– Huffington Post  

“A mesmeric production of a captivating, thought-provoking new play sure to only advance the career of a promising new dramatist. [A] brightly intelligent and often hilariously on-target script, it is deserving of high praise! If Williams’ exceptional play does nothing else, let’s hope it makes its point and sparks further desperately needed debate.... Nagle takes our breath away as Charlie. Furiously funny and disarmingly real. Brilliant!

– Arts in L.A.  

“Every now and again a brilliant play comes your way, strong enough to knock you off your complacent ledge, inspiring social and political change within you, and entertaining us like not much you've ever seen before. Such is the world premiere of Church & State. Jason Odell Williams' pulsating, authoritative drama... With a career-enhancing performance by Rob Nagle... unfolds for us in 90 minutes, no intermission, with both humor and pathos. You must not skip this production of a timely drama reflecting the times we live in and see acted out daily.”

– Edge Media Network  

A powerful, thought-provoking, button-pushing ‘gun-control comedy’ (that’s right, comedy!) Rob Nagle gives career-best performance. WOW!

– Stage Scene L.A.  

 “TOP TEN PICK! Oh, how satisfying it is to watch...Williams’ timely and aptly titled political drama…. Rob Nagle at his splendid best...truly is flawless and sweeps us to a stirring catharsis!

– Stage Raw  

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Funny, human, devastating, brave and powerful... [With] very clear characters and tight writing, Church & State speaks to the lunacy of modern politics. Rob Nagle is funny, relatable, and a true talent on stage.”

– L.A. Theatre Bites  

A timely and thought-provoking piece of entertainment… Williams has taken some highly controversial issues and framed them in very personal and often amusing ways. The humor and the pain coalesce, just as they often do in real life. The audience cares about what happens to [these characters] and cannot help but remain engrossed throughout the tale. Very funnyfast-paced and entertaining!”  

– L.A. Splash  

“When a play is performed that touches our emotions while broaching the struggles of our era, it becomes a sort of prayer. So it is with the marvelous new play by Jason Odell Williams, Church & State. ...As timely as the nightly news, and just as troubling.... For those who are devoted to theater that is absorbing, relevant and controversial ‘Church & State’ is a show for you. You’ll laugh knowingly at familiar political and interpersonal tropes, cry helplessly for the seemingly irresolvable issues facing our nation and our world, and possibly think and dialogue deeply subsequent to this profound experience in the theater -- and perhaps even pray.”  

– Beachcomber Newspaper  

“A pinpoint production. Rob Nagle gives a stellar turn… Superb!

– L.A. Weekly  

Church & State is one of the most stunningly relevant plays currently onstage, and it's not because of election season (though that doesn't hurt). It's because of human nature, and because there will always be trauma and doubt and redemption.”

- Rochester City Newspaper    

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Superb! Entertaining and thought-provoking--just what you want in a show.”

- Stage Notes, WXXI FM  

“Politics, God and guns -- can anything be more appropriate on stage nowadays? Church & State is a biting drama (with a lot of wit) … great humor and humanity. A thoughtful and engaging script … Kudos to all!”

- Rochester Democrat & Chronicle  

“Keep your eye on playwright Jason Odell Williams. If he keeps writing plays as extraordinary and impassioned as his latest play, Church & State, he may in time be hailed as this country’s newest Eugene O’Neill. Powerful... real... amazing, impeccable... flawless... exquisite.”

– Santa Monica Daily Press

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