Eastern CT State University Theatre to Present THE LARAMIE PROJECT at Harry Hope Theatre, 4/24-27

Eastern CT State University Theatre to Present THE LARAMIE PROJECT at Harry Hope Theatre, 4/24-27

From April 24-27, 2014, Eastern CT State University Theatre programt will present The Laramie Project, by Moises Kaufman and Members of the Tectonic Theater Project and directed by Kelsey Guggenheim. Performance times are Thursday- Saturday at 7:30pm, Friday Mid-Day Matinee at 11am; and Sunday at 4:00pm. Performances will be held in the Harry Hope Theatre (Shafer Hall, ground floor, corner of High and Valley Streets, Willimantic).

A Q & A with Barbara Pitts, member of Tectonic Theater Project (actress/writer), will be held on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 7:30pm in the Harry Hope Theatre. Admission is free.

In October 1998 a twenty-one-year-old student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, severely beaten and left to die, tied to a fence in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming. 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, and others were citizens of Laramie, and the breadth of their 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. THE LARAMIE PROJECT is a breathtaking theatrical collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable.

Tickets are $5 for Students and groups of 10 or more, $10 for Eastern faculty, staff, alumni and senior citizens, and $12 for the General public. To purchase, call the box office at 860-465-5123.

Tectonic refers to the art and science of structure and was chosen to emphasize the company's interest in construction-- how things are made, and how they might be made differently.

Tectonic is dedicated to developing innovative works that explore theatrical language and form, fostering an artistic dialogue with our audiences on the social, political and human issues that affect us all. In service to this goal, Tectonic supports readings, workshops, and full theatrical productions, as well as training for students around the country in our play-making techniques.

Its groundbreaking plays, THE LARAMIE PROJECT, GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE, and I AM MY OWN WIFE, have sparked national discourse about their subjects and have inspired artists and audiences worldwide.

Director Kelsey Guggenheim says: "When researching plays that I, as a student director, might be able to direct as part of the Harry Hope Theatre season of shows, I ran across The Laramie Project, a play that has been in my subconscious since I was sixteen years old. When I was younger, I was under the impression that this was a play about what happened in a town, far distanced from my own; a moment frozen in our nation's history and a moment that we as a society had surely moved beyond.

However, upon revisiting The Laramie Project, I have come to realize that this is not a play simply about Laramie, Wyoming; it is a play about Eastern, Willimantic, a play about Connecticut, about the whole of the United States. It is every town, every community, every one of us, and as in the words of Zubaida Ula, "We are like this." It became very evident to me that these voices, stories and opinions were each a piece of a larger mosaic, a larger story, our nation's story. This was a narrative that needed to be told; must be told, and, most importantly, must be heard.

Progress is not an easy thing. It is hard fought and depends upon the voices of those who are able to see a better future; those who are willing to stand up and speak for the voiceless, and piece by piece, story by story, community by community, are able to build a more tolerant world."

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