Waynesburg 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 Stanko and directed by Stover Scholars Addie Pazzynski and Elizabeth Trump, “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 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)
- Miss Henry: 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)
- Mr. Morris: 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)
- Host: Andrew Stanko, a junior communication (sports broadcasting) major from Lewisburg (Lewisburg Area 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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