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Department of Theatre and Dance Presents “The Laramie Project”

larmie.jpgBOONE– The Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance will present “The Laramie Project” April 9-14 in Valborg Theatre.

Performances are at 8 p.m., with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 13.

The April 14 performance will benefit The Actors’ Fund.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $6 for students. For reservations and information, call the Valborg Theatre Box office at (828) 262-3063.

Due to mature language, the performance is not suitable for young audiences.

“The Laramie Project” was written by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project. It centers on the events following the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepherd, which has become one of the most famous examples of a hate crime in recent history.

On Oct. 8, 1998, Shepard, a young college student, was severely beaten and left tied to a fence outside Laramie, Wyo., in near freezing temperatures. Shepherd, who was discovered more than 18 hours later, died from his injuries at Poudre Valley Hospital.

Shepherd, 22, was a homosexual and human rights activist who had been assaulted on two prior occasions.

“The Laramie Project” portrays the reactions of the townsfolk of Laramie following the murder and the subsequent court trial.

Kaufman and members of Tectonic Theater Project visited Laramie on six separate occasions and interviewed people from all walks of life to compile material for the drama.

Ten actors portray more than 60 characters, from judges, reporters and waitresses to lesbian college professors, giving the audience a sensitive perspective on how such an event can affect a community.

The backstage crew will make cameos as members of the press.

The ensemble cast includes Rebecca Coffey, Lyndsay Cox, Callie Gannaway, Jesse Gephart, Andrea Gilkey, Ryan Ledwig, Kiehl Smit, Daryl Walker, Lynn Wilson and Melanie Wright. Carey Poniewaz is the stage manager.

Student designers are theatre major Jessica Lewis, who designed the set, theatre major Annie Wiegand, who designed costumes, and Dan Matthews who designed lights. Each student was mentored by a member of the theatre design faculty.

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Picture Caption: Students in Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance perform in “The Laramie Project” April 9-14. They are (front left) Ryan Ledwig, Callie Gannaway, Daryl Walker, (back left) Lyndsay Cox, Jess Gephart, Melanie Wright, Lynn Wilson and Rebecca Coffey. (Appalachian Photo by University Photographer Mike Rominger)