An Interview with Daniel Damico

Senator Charles Whitmore, Church and State

Church & State by Jason Odell Williams

Senator Charles Whitmore decides to tell the public precisely what he is really thinking with less than three days until his potential re-election. How could that backfire? A hilarious dramedy about God, Guns, and Politics, and where they all intersect. Church and State runs September 27 – October 20.

This interview has been edited for clarity

What is your theatrical background?

I grew up in a theatre household, I have been in shows my whole life, and am heavily influenced by my Dad. In the Fargo-Moorhead area, my most recent role was Dad in Billy Elliot and I last directed White Christmas, both at FMCT. I am member of Wheelhouse Theatrical Productions (formerly Music-Theatre Fargo Moorhead) and a board member at FMCT. This is my first main-stage production with Theatre B. I was involved in B’s staged-reading of the docu-drama “8” a few years ago.

Tell me about your character in Church and State.

Charles Whitmore is a second generation politician. Both his dad and brother were elected. He is confronted with his choices and actions as a politician and seeing the effects first-hand. This causes him to address the paradox of some of the core-tenants in his life and political career.

What have you discovered about him through the rehearsal process?

I’ve learned that Charles, like most of us, is uneasy with the “gray-area” in life. While others are comfortable viewing their world as “black and white”, something happens in Charles’ district that makes him see lots of things as “gray.”

Why is Church and State important to see?

The show is a funny, poignant, critical, three-dimensional conversation about topics which have become very two-dimension in our country. We have spent good deal of time discussing the characters to ensure they feel real with depth, and hopefully the audience can relate to the internal battle and the journey each character takes through this show.

Anything else about yourself or the show that you want to share?

From the director, to the stage manager, to the other actors, the production team, and the crew, this has been a wonderful process of creating art. And I have enjoyed the whole process. Thank-You for that!

By Emily Clemenson