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THE LARAMIE PROJECT Announced At Wasatch Theatre Company

THE LARAMIE PROJECT chronicles the assault and murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998. 

THE LARAMIE PROJECT Announced At Wasatch Theatre Company

Wasatch Theatre Company kicks off its 25th season with THE LARAMIE PROJECT, chronicling the assault and murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998. The Tectonic Theatre Project visited the town of Laramie where the murder took place to interview townsfolk immediately after the incident in 1998.

The town's reactions and its reckoning are documented in the play which runs October 6-15th at the MIdvalley Performing Arts Center in Taylorsville. Tickets are available through ArtTix for $25.00.

THE LARAMIE PROJECT uses actual transcripts to describe how a town comes to terms with the murder of Matthew Shepard and how they negotiate their petrceptions of the town with this barbaric act. The show, directed by Jim Martin, features performers from the community who have a range of experience and backgrounds. In casting, there has been specific attention paid to a diverse cast that doesn't represent what one might think of as Laramie In 1998. The lights and sound for the show are a major part of the storytelling and are designed by Riley Merrill and Ben Brinton, respectively. Ben Brinton is a local musician who has composed music specifically for this show. The soundscape also includes original work from cast member Em Smiley, also a local musician.

The show is also complemented by projections featuring original photographs by Lucas Bybee. Bybee is an award-winning local photographer out of LOgan who most recently won Best of Show prizes at the Utah Fair.

Wasatch Theatre Company chose to open its 25th season with THE LARAMIE PROJECT because of recent physical, emotional, and social attacks on the LGBTQIA+ community. Since the allowance of gay marriage by the US Supreme Court, some individuals consider us past some of the revelations from THE LARAMIE CYCLE. However, in Sandy, Utah, two young adults were recently threatened and attacked because of their sexual orientation. Libraries and school districts across the country are banning books deemed inappropriate, oftentimes with LGBTQIA+ themes. Transgender youth and their needs continue to be misunderstood in schools. Transgender individuals are a real target of hate crimes across the nation, and this statistic is on the rise.

Martin, Director of THE LARAMIE CYCLE and Executive Director of Wasatch Theatre Company, said, "We have chosen to cast THE LARAMIE PROJECT with a diverse cast including members of the LGBTQIA+ community and Actors of Color. Some of the cast members were not even born when Matthew Shepard was murdered. We as a diverse community must keep the issues that surfaced in 1998 at the forefront as our nation undergoes its own reckoning with rising hate crimes. We must ensure that our education systems focus on LGBTQIA+ history and issues, including relevant and appropriate literature, to help young people recognize their role in affirming the LGBTQIA+ community. We must also think about the roles that we all play in allowing this kind of anti-LGBTQIA+ behavior to exist. This play is a very important production at this particular time in history."

Masks are recommended but not required.

Wasatch Theatre Company is a local theatre organization that has been in operation since 1997. The group has performed at venues such as delis and coffee shops before spending the ten years at The Rose Wagner Performing Arts Building in downtown Salt Lake. WTC is now the resident theatre company of The Gateway and is housed at their performing arts space The Box. WTC is excited to be back performing with Salt Lake County!




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