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Revisiting ‘The Laramie Project’

By Charlotte Robinson, November 10, 2019
Stetson Theatre Arts will present Moisés Kaufman’s “The Laramie Project” about Matthew Shepard who in 1998 was kidnapped, severely beaten & left tied to a prairie fence simply because he was gay. Shepard died days later as a result of his injuries. The play will run from Nov. 21st to 24th at Stetson University’s Second Stage Theatre located at the Museum of Art in Deland, Florida. Kaufman & fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project conducted more than 200 interviews with residents of Laramie, Wyoming. The play is comprised of those first-hand accounts collected by the theatre company. Julie Schmitt, PhD, Director of this production & Creative Arts Department chair at Stetson University stated, “The play’s rehearsal & design process have been really unique and rewarding. Since a number of actors are playing well over eight parts, I have asked them to think of their different characters in relation to a long list of archetypal characters & we're working on finding different ways to embody those archetypes through physical & vocal characterization. It’s a challenge, but the students are up for it & it’s clear that this play means a lot to them. 'The Laramie Project' showcases a tragedy that is disturbingly prevalent today. Even though it has been more than 20 years since the death of Matthew Shepard, there are many moments in the play that really resonate with me & with fellow cast members. I feel that discussions about hate, empathy & compassion will always be relevant & the play certainly feels as though it is of this time."
For Info & Tix…
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