THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER Comes to The Warner

A riveting production of THE LARAMIE PROJECT: 10 YEARS LATER will be performed in the Warner's Nancy Marine Studio Theatre February 1-3, featuring the students of the Warner Theatre Center for Arts Education Performance Lab. On October 6, 1998, gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard left the Fireside Bar with Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. The following day he was discovered on a prairie at the edge of town, tied to a fence, brutally beaten, and close to death. Six days later Matthew Shepard died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Ft. Collins, Colorado.
On November 14th, 1998, ten members of Tectonic Theatre Project traveled to Laramie, Wyoming and conducted interviews with the people of the town. Over the next year, the company returned to Laramie six times and conducted over 200 interviews. These texts became the basis for the play The Laramie Project.

Ten years later on September 12th, 2008, five members of Tectonic returned to Laramie to try to understand the long-term effect of the murder. They found a town wrestling with its legacy and its place in history. In addition to revisiting the folks whose words riveted us in the original play, this time around, the company also spoke with the two murderers, McKinney and Henderson, as well as Matthew's mother, Judy Shepard. THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER is a bold new work, which asks the question, "How does society write its own history?"

**Due to mature language and subject matter, this play is not intended for very young audiences.** THE LARAMIE PROJECT: 10 YEARS LATER was written by Andy Paris, Greg Pierotti, Leigh Fondakowski, Mois s Kaufman, Stephen Belber. Performances are February 1 & 2 at 8 pm and February 3 at 2 pm. To purchase tickets, call the Warner Box Office at 860-489-7180 or visit warnertheatre.org.

The WTCAE Young Actors Series is sponsored by The Lufkin Family Foundation.

Built by Warner Brothers Studios and opened in 1931 as a movie palace (1,772 seats), the Warner Theatre was described then as "Connecticut's Most Beautiful Theatre." Damaged extensively in a flood, the Warner was slated for demolition in the early 1980s until the non-profit Northwest Connecticut Association for the Arts (NCAA) was founded and purchased the theatre. The Warner reopened as a performing arts center in 1983, and restoration of the main lobbies and auditorium was completed in November 2002. In 2008, the new 50,000 square foot Carole and Ray Neag Performing Arts Center, which houses a 300 seat Studio Theatre, 200 seat restaurant and expansive school for the arts, was completed. Today, the Warner is in operation year-round with more than 160 performances and 100,000 patrons passing through its doors each season. Over 10,000 students, pre K-adult, participate in arts education programs and classes. Together, with the support of the community, the Warner has raised close to $17 million to revitalize its facilities. NCAA's mission is to preserve the Warner Theatre as an historic landmark, enhance its reputation as a center of artistic excellence and a focal point of community involvement, and satisfy the diverse cultural needs of the region.

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