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b2ap3_thumbnail_STOVER-WEB-LOGO4.jpgWaynesburg University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership will present the play “Checks and Balances: Factions, Federalists, and Freedom” Thursday, Sept. 17, at noon in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center on the campus of Waynesburg University. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend. 

Written by Stover Scholar Andrew J. Stanko, a junior communication (sports broadcasting/information) major from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, “Checks and Balances” dramatizes the U.S. Constitution's ratification debates.

The production portrays the passions and conflicts between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists as they fiercely debated the merits of the new Constitution created by the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Faced with the formidable task of persuading the states to adopt the document, three Federalists, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, penned a series of 85 essays in defense of the Constitution. Collectively, they came to be called “The Federalist Papers.”

Drawing upon pivotal arguments from three of the most important essays, 10, 51 and 78, “Checks and Balances” engages the constitutional themes of the “extended republic,” the doctrine of “separation of powers” and the necessity of an independent judiciary. The play brings to life the political discourse of the Founding Era and the documents that define us as a nation.

“‘Checks and Balances’ dramatizes the basis for the critical constitutional themes which structurally secure our liberties as Americans,” said Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, director of the Stover Center and assistant professor of ethics and constitutional law. “The Stover Scholars not only capture the Constitution’s essence as a historical matter, they also show how important these principles are for Americans today.”

The production is directed by Addie Pazzynski, a senior biblical ministry studies major and English minor from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, with Elizabeth Trump, a freshman biology (pre-med) major from Fairchance, Pennsylvania, serving as assistant director. The performance is sponsored by the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership.

The cast list includes:

  • Contestant F: Nika Anschuetz, a senior communication (electronic media) major from Harmony (Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School)
  • Dolly Madison: Ashley Beener, a junior sociology (political science) major from Rockwood (Rockwood Area Junior-Senior High School)
  • Dolly’s Friend: Paige Carter, a junior sociology (pre-law) major from Coraopolis (Abundant Life Academy)
  • Judge Richards: Nicholas Cordova, a sophomore sociology (political science) major from Youngstown, Ohio (Boardman High School)
  • Phyllis: Christine Dawson, a freshman nursing major from Wexford (Pine-Richland High School)
  • James Madison: Parker Kantos, a senior sociology (pre-law) major from Waupaca, Wisconsin (Waupaca High School)
  • Studio Person B: John Kautz, a senior business management major from Marianna (Bethlehem Center High School)
  • Contestant E: Brendan Keany, a junior communication (sports broadcasting/information) major from East Aurora, New York (East Aurora High School)
  • Charles: Matthew Kenney, a senior computer science major from Northumberland (Shikellamy High School)
  • Contestant B: Daniel Kephart, a freshman English literature major from Washington (Home School)
  • Studio Person A: Robert Leon, a sophomore finance major from Brookfield, Ohio (Brookfield Local Schools)
  • Contestant D: Tyler McCoy, a freshman history major from Jamestown, Ohio (Greeneview High School)
  • Judge Perry: Vincent Morrow, a sophomore biology (pre-med) major from Waynesburg (Waynesburg Central High School)
  • Contestant A: Olivia Schultz-Falandes, a freshman sociology (political science) major from North Adams, Massachusetts (Berkshire Arts and Technology School)
  • Man at Food Stand: Ryan Schwertfeger, a junior communication (electronic media) major from Oakland, New Jersey (Indian Hills High School)
  • Contestant C: Joanna Scott, a junior nursing major from Greencastle (Greencastle-Antrim High School)
  • Studio Person C: Brandon VanTine, a junior sociology (political science) major from New Kensington (Valley High School)
  • Alexander Hamilton: John Wicker, a junior marketing major from Ambridge (Eden Christian Academy)

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_STOVER-WEB-LOGO4.jpgThe Waynesburg University Stover Scholars will present “In God we Pray?: Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway et al,” in honor of Constitution Day Wednesday, Sept. 17, at noon in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Written by Stover Scholars John Wicker, Ryan Schwertfeger and Paige Carter, “In God We Pray?: Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway et al.,” dramatizes the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 case upholding the town of Greece,  New York’s practice of beginning monthly town board meetings with prayer by local clergy.

The play brings to life the legal arguments in favor of and against the practice of legislative prayer resulting from Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens’ ultimately failed lawsuit against the municipality. 

The play examines the spectrum of judicial opinion interpreting the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment Religion Clauses.

“In this critical moment in which America’s founding values are being challenged, the Stover Scholars are to be commended for wrestling with the scope and meaning of the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses which state, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’” said Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership and assistant professor of ethics and constitutional law.

The production is directed by Edward L. Powers, professor of theater at Waynesburg University, and sponsored by the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership.

The cast list includes:

•Linda Stephens: Nika Anschuetz, a junior communication (electronic media) major from Harmony (Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School)

•Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Ashley Beener, a sophomore sociology (political science) major from Rockwood (Rockwood Area Junior-Senior High School)

•Justice Clarence Thomas: Emily Bish, a freshman marketing major from Pittsburgh (North Allegheny Senior High School) 

•Susan Galloway: Paige Carter, a sophomore sociology (pre-law) major from Coraopolis (Abundant Life Academy)

•Rev. Chappell: Nick Cordova, a freshman sociology (political science) major from Youngstown, Ohio (Boardman High School)

•Justice Anthony Kennedy: Jeremy Hinkle, a senior forensic accounting major from Washington (Canon McMillan High School)

•Justice Stephen Breyer: Parker Kantos, a junior sociology (pre-law) major from Waupaca, Wisc. (Waupaca High School)

•News Anchor 2: J.R. Kautz, a junior business management major from Marianna (Bethlehem Center High School)

•News Anchor 1:  Brendan Keany, a sophomore communication (sports broadcasting/information) major from East Aurora, N.Y. (East Aurora High School)

•Thomas Hungar: Matt Kenney, a junior computer science major from Northumberland (Shikellamy High School)

•Cameraman: R.J. Leon, a freshman finance major from Brookfield, Ohio (Brookfield Local Schools)

•Justice Sonia Sotomayor: Kiana Levi, a freshman entrepreneurship major from Venetia (Hillcrest Christian Academy)

•Bailiff: Vincent Morrow, a freshman biology (pre-med) major from Waynesburg (Waynesburg Central High School)

•Justice Samuel Alito : Addie Pazzynski, a sophomore biblical ministry studies (religion and philosophy) major from Waynesburg (Waynesburg Central High School)

•Justice Antonin Scalia: Gina Robinson, a senior English (literature) major from Lower Burrell (Saint Joseph High School) 

•Douglas Laycock: Ryan Schwertfeger, a sophomore communication (electronic media) major from Oakland, N.J. (Indian Hills High School)

•Justice Elena Kagan: Joanna Scott, a freshman nursing major from Greencastle (Greencastle-Antrim High School)

•Andy Stanko: Andy Stanko, a sophomore communication (sports broadcasting/information) major from Lewisburg (Lewisburg Area High School)

•Supervisor Auberger: Brandon VanTine, a sophomore sociology (political science) major from New Kensington (Valley High School)

•Chief Justice John Roberts: John Wicker, a sophomore business management major from Ambridge (Eden Christian Academy) 

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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