Ford's Theatre Announces LINCOLN LEGACY PROJECT Events, Sept-Oct 2013
Paul R. Tetreault, Director of Ford's Theatre Society, announced the special event schedule for the third year of The Lincoln Legacy Project-this year thematically connected with the Society's production of the stage play The Laramie Project (September 27-October 27, 2013), and recognizing the 15 years since Matthew Shepard was abducted and killed in an anti-gay hate crime in Laramie, Wyoming. The multi-year Lincoln Legacy Project encourages people of differing viewpoints to engage in meaningful and respectful dialogue about diversity and understanding through a range of programming including performances, panel discussions, special museum exhibitions, education programs and more. This fall, Ford's presents The Laramie Project to spark conversation about social injustice, bigotry, bullying and violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, and to take steps toward understanding, inclusion and equality.
Ford's Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault remarked, "Matthew Shepard's death in 1998 ignited a debate about the definition of hate crimes and strengthened the resolve of many to advocate for social justice. In our third year of The Lincoln Legacy Project we are honored to welcome Dennis and Judy Shepard, local youth and partner organizations from across the nation and the District to continue the
dialogue about bullying, bias and hate directed at the LGBT community. By inviting multiple perspectives to the stage, we hope this fall's programming will propel us forward in the spirit of Lincoln's ideals of understanding, acceptance and reconciliation."
In conjunction with the play, Ford's offers a series of free Monday night panel discussions beginning September 30 at 7 p.m., with Cokie Roberts in conversation with Judy Shepard, Matthew's mother, in With Malice Toward None: Judy Shepard, a Mother's Response to Hate. On October 7 at 7 p.m., The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart moderates a discussion titled With Charity for All: Lives Changed by Hate, with former Laramie sheriff Dave O'Malley, former Jasper, Texas, sheriff Billy Rowles and members of KhushDC, Washington's South Asian LGBTQ community, about hate crimes that have changed the course of their lives and led to greater outreach in society. The third panel, To Bind up the Nation's Wounds: Communities Respond to Hate, on October 21 at 7 p.m., centers on the methods local and national communities have created or used in response to hate crimes and features Tony Banout from the collegiate Interfaith Youth Core. The discussion series concludes October 28 at 7 p.m. with To Achieve and Cherish a Just and Lasting Peace: Envisioning a World Beyond Hate, featuring local youth from Split this Rock and Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL).
A world-premiere exhibition at the Center for Education and Leadership (514 Tenth Street NW) featuring letters addressed to the Shepard family in the wake of Matthew's death is on display September 10-November 3, 2013. Not Alone: The Power of Response pairs artist Jeff Sheng's hauntingly beautiful photograph, Where Matthew Lay Dying, (Laramie Wyoming), 2007, with a selection of letters sent to the Shepard family in order to explore the themes of empathy, community response and personal responsibility. Admission is included with regular daytime visit tickets to Ford's Theatre.
Ford's Theatre hosts a Pay What You Can (PWYC) preview performance of The Laramie Project, September 29 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Ford's Theatre box office on the day of the performance starting at 5:30 p.m. Limit of two tickets per customer. Cash only. Seating is on a first-come basis.
Ford's Theatre hosts a special faith night performance of The Laramie Project on Thursday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m. Groups of 15 or more receive a 50 percent discount on performance tickets and admittance to a special post-show discussion about how the faith community can promote tolerance and inclusion. The discussion will feature Dean of Washington National Cathedral Gary Hall. Interested groups should contact the group sales office at (202) 638-2367 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The weekend of October 11, 2013, marks the 15th year since Matthew Shepard died. Ford's Theatre will donate all proceeds from the October 11, 7:30 p.m. performance of The Laramie Project to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Following the evening performance, audience members and the public are invited to participate in a candlelight vigil in memory of Matthew Shepard's life and in recognition of National Coming Out Day. Matthew's father Dennis Shepard, leaders of the Washington, D.C., faith community and others will be on site to lead participants in a brief program outside of the historic Ford's Theatre.