The Auburn Players bring the story of Matthew Shepard to the Auburn Public Theater for three performances

On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (October 10, 11, & 12) at 7:30pm, the Auburn Players, in partnership with Auburn Public Theater will present THE LARAMIE PROJECT. Tickets are $10 & $15 and may be purchased by visiting www.auburnpublictheater.org or by calling the box office at 315-253-6669.

Directed by Elisa Carabajal Hunt, the cast will feature Nick Bessette, Lillian Boberg, Francis Bruno, Vera Carabajal, Steve Gamba, Kristie Gutierrez, Nancy Hunt, Holly Maltese, and Brian O’Connor. Together they embrace 60 roles and let the audience touch the pulse of small-town America as they tell this story.

“The Laramie Project” is a documentary-style play that tells the story of a twenty-one-year-old gay college student who was kidnapped, severely beaten, and left tied to a fence in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming. He was discovered the next day, and died several days later in an area hospital. His name was Matthew Shepard and his murder is one of the most well-known hate crimes in recent American history.

Moisés Kaufman and 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. After conducting more than 200 interviews with the people of the town they have constructed a deeply moving theatrical experience from these interviews and their own experiences in Laramie.

“The Laramie Project” is a breathtaking collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable.

Shortly after The Laramie Project hit Broadway, Moises Kaufman told Time that “the origin of theater is a community talking to itself.” The cast of this production of “The Laramie Project” will provide post-show discussions as a way to process and discuss the different points of view and the process of presenting this piece of theatre. Such discussions offer opportunities for self-expression, and create a powerful venue for learning. The Auburn Players will offer the following opportunities for Community Dialogue:

• Thursday – Talk Back Session moderated by Rev. Patrick Heery of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Auburn. The cast and Rev. Heery will discuss the events of the play and the importance of the show. Audiences are encouraged to ask questions and give feedback.
• Friday – Theatrical Adjudication by Rose Bonczek, of the Theatre Association of New York State. Ms. Bonczek will provide feedback to the company about this production and performances as well as share insight about the story and have an open discussion with cast.

In 2009, the U.S. Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a piece of legislation that strengthens existing hate crime laws. However; currently 70% of cities across the US have reported an increase of hate crimes from 2017 to 2018 (POLITIFACT at the Poynter Institute, April 3, 2019)

“Here we are, 21-years later, the play is more relevant than ever. The Laramie Project is a sobering reminder of the hatred and fear that still exists,” says Director Hunt, “this is why it’s an important story for us to tell again and again.”

THE LARAMIE PROJECT plays Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (October 10, 11, & 12) at 7:30pm at The Auburn Public Theater. Tickets are $10 (senior/student) & $15 (general admission), and may be purchased by visiting www.auburnpublictheater.org or by calling the box office at 315-253-6669.

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