Springfield High School theater presents “The Laramie Project”

The cast of Springfield High School’s production of “The Laramie Project.” Photo provided.

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Springfield High School theater department presents “The Laramie Project” by Moisés Kaufman and the members of Tectonic Theater Project. Performances will be at the Springfield High School Auditorium on Friday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m.

Theater students worked with the Matthew Shepard Foundation to develop their production and characters. Students researched past productions and Laramie, Wyo. to aid them in developing strong storytelling skills to express Matthew Shepard’s story and to help eliminate the idea of hate in the world.

In October 1998, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, severely beaten, and left tied to a fence in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyo. 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, and 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 people interviewed were directly connected to the case, while others were citizens of Laramie, and the breadth of the reactions to the crime is fascinating. Kaufman and Tectonic Theater members 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.

Admission is by donation. This production is for mature audiences because of content and strong language. Any questions, please call 802-885-7900 x3305 or email Rebecca Skrypeck at rskrypeck@ssdvt.org. Check out our Facebook – SHS Theater Dept. For more information about the Matthew Shepard Foundation, go to www.matthewshepard.org.

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