Matthew Shepard

Twilight Players to Stage The Laramie Project

Performance Presented as Part of College’s Year of Social Justice

October 6, 2014

Lyndon State College’s Twilight Players (TWP) will present a staged reading of The Laramie Project on Friday, October 17 at 7:30 p.m. It is presented in partnership with Lyndon FAIR (Promoting Fairness, Awareness, Inclusion, and Relationships in our community) as part of Lyndon State’s on-going Year of Social Justice events and is free and open to the public. Laramie is directed by TWP alumni Dan Haycook ‘13 and features performances by the Twilight Players, TWP alumni, and others in the area’s theater community.

In October 1998, a twenty-one-year-old student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, severely beaten and left to die, tied to a fence in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming. His bloody, bruised and battered body was not discovered until the next day, and he died several days later in an area hospital. His name was Matthew Shepard. He was the victim of this assault because he was gay.

Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half in the aftermath of the beating and during the trial of the two young men accused of killing Shepard. They conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the town—some directly connected to the case, others just citizens of Laramie—and the breadth of their reactions to the crime is fascinating. Kaufman and Tectonic Theater members constructed a deeply moving theatrical experience from these interviews and their own experiences. The Laramie Project is a breathtaking theatrical collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable.

The performance will be on Friday, October 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the College’s Alexander Twilight Theatre and is free and open to the public. There will be a question and answer session with the director and the cast following the performance. Laramie will be the first of four staged readings that will take place throughout the academic year. (In staged readings, actors perform with scripts and with minimal staging and costuming.) The additional plays in the series, Seven, Trouble in Mind, and A Peasant of El Salvador will be presented during the spring 2015 semester.

Lyndon State College President Joe Bertolino has designated the 2014-15 academic year as the college’s Year of Social Justice. Additional events this fall include a film screening of Freedom Summer on Monday, October 20 at 6 p.m.; and Cognizant (Views on Social Justice), the 2014 Faculty Art Exhibit, which will run from December 5 through January 3 in the Quimby Art Gallery. These events are free and open to the public. Complete information, including a look ahead to spring 2015 events, can be found at LyndonState.edu/SocialJustice.

The Laramie Project is presented as part of Lyndon State’s Lecture and Arts Series which is sponsored by Hayes Ford and Vermont Broadcast Associates. The series is made possible in part by the Harriet M. Sherman Lecture Fund.

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