KINGSTON, R.I. –September 28, 2009—A month after the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyo. student, members of the Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie, Wyoming to interview residents of the community. Those interviews became the basis of The Laramie Project, one of the most performed plays in America. The play has become the rallying cry for gay rights and hate crime laws.
Ten years later, the same theater group returned to Laramie to explore how the town had changed and how the murder continues to reverberate in the community. The results of their return visit is the play: THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER.
The University of Rhode Island Theatre will present a staged reading of the epilogue, which will simultaneously be performed in New York at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and in more than 100 other theaters in all 50 states, Canada, Great Britain, Spain, Hong Kong and Australia on Oct. 12. The event is free and open to the public. Donations will benefit the URI Chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Center. For more information, please contact 874-5921 or 5922.
The play includes new interviews with Matthew’s mother, Judy Shepard, and Mathew’s murderer, Aaron McKinney, who’s serving two consecutive life sentences, as well as, Laramie residents from the original piece.
URI Theatre Department premiered The Laramie Project in 2002. “We are pleased to premiere the epilogue and represent Rhode Island in this international reading,” said Paula McGlasson, chair of the department. “We are also delighted to join a long list of outstanding theater companies and universities that are performing the reading.”
The staged reading, directed by Associate Theatre Professor Bryna Wortman with an ensemble of Rhode Island actors, will held at 8 p.m. the Robert E. Will Theatre, URI Fine Arts Center, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston. Three of the actors were in the original cast of The Laramie Project in 2002: Tom Hurdle, Brad Kirton ’05 URI theater grad of Coventry, and Cait Calvo.
The other actors in the staged reading are Rudy Sanda ’96 URI theater grad of Cranston, Elise Petrarca ’09 theater grad of Johnston, Myke Wilkinson ’97 URI theater grad of Charlestown, Michael Healy, Sandra Laub, Patricia Hawridge, Tammy Brown, and Barry Press, AEA and Annie Scurria, AEA.