Elon theater production to commemorate one-year anniversary of Parkland shooting

The Department of Performing Arts is one of eight colleges and universities around the country to participate TODAY, in a staged reading of the play “Church & State” on the anniversary of the shooting.

Elon’s Department of Performing Arts will present a staged reading of the award-winning play “Church & State” on Thursday, Feb. 14, to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that took the lives of 17 students and staff members.

Elon is one of eight colleges and universities around the country to participate in the event, with Kali Clougherty ’22, who was a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas at the time of the shooting, directing. The staged reading begins at 4:30 p.m. in Yeager Recital Hall in the Center for the Arts, and is offered in partnership with production company NewYorkRep and The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. A discussion will follow the reading.

Written by Jason Odell Williams, “Church & State” tells the story of a senator running for re-election that explores how religion, guns and social media influence the American political system. The work looks at how the senator examines his position on the Second Amendment following a shooting at his children’s school.

Other schools participating are UCLA, Butler University, the University of Kansas, Tulane University, Point Park University in Pittsburgh, the New World School of the Arts in Miami and The University of Chicago. More on the nationwide effort is available here.

Clougherty, who performed with her Marjory Stoneman Douglas classmates at the Tony Awards last year, said the production will provide a powerful message and will allow those involved to heal following the devastation in Parkland and other school shootings.

“This is our way as actors and performers to give back and to do our part for activism through the arts,” Clougherty said. “It gives people a chance to understand and listen instead of fight and cause division.”