Laramie Project to be performed at AIC

Students in the Theater Program at American International College will be tackling an ambitious production this semester, as they take on the Laramie Project. The play, the true story of the brutal murder of a 21-year old gay student at the University of Wyoming in 1998, is a breathtaking theatrical collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink, and the heights of compassion of which people are capable.

The play will be presented in the Griswold Theatre, November 22 and 23 at 7:00 p.m. and November 24 at 2:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend free of charge, donations are welcome.

AIC Theater Director Frank Borrelli said the college is committed to producing plays that are both socially relevant and, "and reflective of our students need to learn and grow in a challenging world full of people and concepts they may not understand."

The Laramie Project was written by Moises Kaufman and the Members of Tectonic Theater Project. In October 1998, Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, severely beaten and left to die, because he was gay. 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, and others were citizens of Laramie. Kaufman and Tectonic Theater members have constructed a deeply moving theatrical experience from these interviews and their own experiences.

Borrelli said, the Laramie Project is a play about a community, not a play about a crime that shook the country to its core. "Producing this play on a college campus is only right and proper to do. AIC is lucky to have a richly diverse population of students, faculty, staff and community members engaged in the educational process," he said.

According to Borrelli, the play is a teaching tool used by educational institutions to promote dialogue about the importance of diversity in the community and how to come together to combat hate and inequality of any kind. "We are proud to be producing this play, as it is about real people in a real situation facing real societal challenges. We so often fight individual battles against our own fears. This play tackles those fears and provides a space for dialogue about them without bias. I believe the college community needs to be exposed to plays and events like The Laramie Project. Events that help to establish dialogue about societal issues only broaden our students understanding of the world," he said.

For more information, contact the AIC Office of Public Relations at (413) 205 3231.

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