Staged reading of ‘Laramie Project: Ten Years Later’ slated
TheatreWorks New Milford’s Page 2 Stage series will present a free special staged reading of “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” July 25 at 8 p.m.
The reading will feature many members of TheatreWorks’ 2003 production of its predecessor, “The Laramie Project,” reprising their roles.
It will be directed by the production’s original director Jane Farnol.
“The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” is written by Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris, and Stephen Belber (Tectonic Theatre Project).
On Oct. 6, 1998, gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard left the Fireside Bar with Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson.
The following day he was discovered on a prairie at the edge of town, tied to a fence, brutally beaten, and close to death.
Six days later, Matthew Shepard died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Ft. Collins, Colo.
On Nov. 14, 1998, 10 members of Tectonic Theatre Project traveled to Laramie, Wyo., and conducted interviews with the people of the town.
Over the next year, the company returned to Laramie six times and conducted over 200 interviews.
These texts became the basis for the play “The Laramie Project.”
Ten years later, on Sept. 12, 2008, five members of Tectonic returned to Laramie to try to understand the long-term effect of the murder.
They found a town wrestling with its legacy and its place in history.
In addition to revisiting the folks whose words riveted us in the original play, this time around, the company also spoke with the two murderers, McKinney and Henderson, as well as Matthew's mother, Judy Shepard.
The cast features Matt Austin, Adam Battelstein, Noel Desiato, Keir Hansen, Ron Malyska, Sonnie Osborne, Monica Rodriguez and Vicki Sosbe.
“Matthew Shepard’s story, and the stories of the residents of Laramie, remain timely and important,” said Page 2 Stage series coordinator Matt Austin. “In a time now when people are quick to make assumptions based headlines without all the facts and stories spread so quickly via technology - what is true?”
“History is stories. Who gets to decide our history? The people with the facts or the stories that grab attention. How does our history (factual or otherwise) impact our future,” Austin continued.
Reservations are recommended for the event at the 5 Brookside Ave. theater. Parking is available behind the Catherine E. Lillis Administration Building on East Street. For more information, call 860-350-6863.