The Laramie Project

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Waterford High School proudly presents the first WATERFORDrama production of the season; the emotional and thought provoking play THE LARAMIE PROJECT by Moisés Kaufman and Members of Tectonic Theatre Project.

This production will take place in the newly renovated Waterford High School Auditorium on January 17 - 19 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.00 for adults and $7.00 for students if purchased in advance.

WATERFORDrama, the drama club at Waterford High School, is staging this deeply moving theatrical event about hate, hope, and acceptance for the second time.  Despite community apprehension, the group first produced the play in December of 2006. Many articles, editorials and letters appeared in local papers at that time.

The play centers around the people of Laramie, Wyoming in the aftermath of the 1998 death of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student, who was savagely beaten and left to die tied to a fence on the outskirts of town.  The beating of Matthew Shepard shocked a nation and his death became a national symbol of intolerance. However, for the people of Laramie this event was deeply personal.  It is their words that we hear telling this story during this stunningly effective theatre piece.

A month after the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a group of 10 playwrights travelled from New York City to Laramie, Wyoming to conduct interviews.  Over the following year and a half they made six trips and conducted over 200 interviews.  From these interviews, their own experiences, and other found texts, they have created a show that is not only deeply moving, but one that dispels the simplistic media stereotypes and explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable.

“There is an important reason why I’ve chosen to direct this show for the second time here in Waterford“ says Shane Valle, WATERFORDrama Director, “and that is because we all know that hate and intolerance exist everywhere.  By producing this show, the students and I hope to bring to light how hate can ruin lives. We also hope to highlight the importance of accepting one another in spite of what differences we may have.  This show completely changed my life, the lives of my students and many of our audience members six years ago and I’m hoping for the same this time around.”

In addition to the importance of the themes addressed in the show, there are two other reasons Valle has decided to produce the show again.  First, he has invited four WATERFORDrama alumni from the 2006 cast to join the current Waterford High students in the show.  These are four young adults who went off to study theatre in college or are still doing so.  Secondly, after the three productions of THE LARAMIE PROJECT there will be a special one-night-only performance of a completely different show, the epilogue, THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER on Sunday, January 20 at 6:30 p.m.  The same group of 16 actors doing two completely different shows on the same weekend is not something common for a high school program to do.

Reserved seating tickets for THE LARAMIE PROJECT may be purchased in the front lobby of Waterford High School on Mondays through Fridays between 7:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. starting January 7th.  Tickets can also be reserved by calling (860) 437-6956 x. 728.  Tickets are $12.00 for adults and $7.00 for students if purchased in advance.  General admission tickets for THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER will be free for anyone who brings in a ticket stub from a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night show.  For more information please contact Waterford High School at (860) 437-6956.  


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