Moises Kaufman's 'The Laramie Project'

By: Nov. 20, 2006
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Collaboration between The Key West Players and The Red Barn Theatre at the Waterfront Playhouse.

Thursday, November 30, 2006 at 8:00 pm

On Thursday, November 30th, The Key West Players and The Red Barn Theatre will reprise their collaboration of a staged reading of The Laramie Project in honor of World AIDS Day. The performance will be held at The Waterfront Playhouse at 8:00 pm. For admission, the theatres are asking for discretionary donations at the door, which will be given to AIDS Help, Inc. in Key West. The reading will be directed by Danny Weathers, Artistic Director of The Key West Players and will feature ten accomplished actors who perform frequently at both theatres. The Laramie Project is a life-affirming, deeply enriching experience - "an amazing piece of theatre," according to The New York Post.

In addition to the reading, there will be four blocks, or sections, from the AIDS Memorial Quilt on display in the theatre. The AIDS Quilt was founded in 1987 and is a powerful tool for use in preventing new HIV infections. This poignant memorial is the largest ongoing community arts project in the world. Each of the four blocks is 12 feet by 12 feet, and has eight individual 3 feet by 6 feet panels. The display will have 32 quilt panels and 58 names, all from Key West and the Florida Keys. The Quilt sections will be available for viewing in the theatre on November 29 and December 1 from noon until 6 pm and on the day of the performance (November 30) the viewing will be from noon until 8:00 pm, curtain time.

The Laramie Project is the award-winning play that was created by Moises Kaufman and The Tectonic Theatre Project. It's based on the murder and trial of Matthew Shepard; however, the events are entirely expressed by the citizens of Laramie for whom this shocking crime was deeply personal.

Mr. Kaufman and his company members made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half in the aftermath of the ordeal. They conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the town. Some of the people interviewed were directly connected to the case, and others were merely observers to the events. The tapestry of their reactions to the crime creates a compelling story that manages to explore the depths to which humanity can sink, and also the heights of compassion to which many of its citizens were capable of reaching.

The play was first produced at the Denver Center Theatre Company and subsequently moved Off-Broadway. It has played all over the world, and most evocatively, it has played in Laramie, where it was performed by its original creators. It was one of Time Magazine's Ten Best Plays of 2000. It was eventually filmed for HBO and featured Christina Ricci, Steve Buscemi, Peter Fonda, Laura Linney, Janeane Garafolo and many others.

Joy Hawkins and Mimi McDonald of the Barn and Danny Weathers of the Waterfront were extremely pleased with last year's collaboration and the overwhelming response from the audience. They agreed that a reprise was essential, with each actor (except for one who is out of town) eagerly agreeing to once again be part of this special project. Last year's reading netted $1,300.00, which was given to AIDS Help, Key West.

The ten actors who will give voice to the more than 75 citizens of Laramie represented in the play, include George diBraud, Mary Falconer, Gerri Louise Gates, Mimi McDonald, Diana Verlain, David Black, Landon Bradbary, Scott Shambaugh, George Gugleotti and Gary McDonald. Mr. Weathers will be the narrator. Everyone involved in the reading is donating their time and talents.

There will be a post-performance discussion, followed by a reception that will be held in the courtyard in front of the theatre. The performance will be non-reserved seating. For more information, please call the box office at 305-294-5015. Hear why New York Magazine said, "There emerges a mosaic as moving and important as any you will see on the walls of the churches of the world…nothing short of stunning…you will be held in rapt attention."

"Deeply moving.... This play is Our Town with
a question mark, as in
'Could this be our town?'"
-New York Times

"Kaufman is pioneering a new genre of theater. He aims for radical redefinition of theater is capable of."
-Time Magazine



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