UCSB Department of Theater/Dance Presents THE LARAMIE PROJECT
UCSB's Department of Theater and Dance presents The Laramie Project, a verbatim play recounting the hateful act that took the life of Matthew Shepard in October 1998 and sparked anger across the nation. Directed by UCSB's Eric Jorgensen, The Laramie Project is an iconic play with a long-lasting impact in its depiction of hope, honesty, and a community uniting to understand and fight against intolerance.
Shortly after Matthew Shepard's death, Moisés Kaufman and the members of the Tectonic Theater Project visited Laramie, Wyoming to listen to the people of the community where the crime took place. What resulted was a lyrical, emotional play that awed and captivated audiences throughout the nation. The Laramie Project was adapted into a movie for HBO in 2002 and has been produced by countless companies, proving its enduring relevance for years to come.
The play's director, Eric Jorgensen, commands eleven UCSB B.F.A actors in this year's Acting Up Front production, in which there is no set or costume design but rather a complete reliance on the relationship between the actors, audience, text, and space. "The Laramie Project has proven that theater has an important role to play in the cultivation of social consciousness," Jorgensen explains. "The beauty of this verbatim text is in discovering the subtle yet powerful ways that people can change their perspective."
In addition to this outstanding piece of theater, the department is proud to have organized a special event on February 22 entitled The Laramie Legacy: A Conversation with Judy Shepard. Featuring a panel composed of Annika Speer, Rebecca Prather, and Kelli Coleman, and followed by a talk from Judy Shepard, the event is in the Hatlen Theater at 6 PM. The mother of Matthew Shepard, Judy Shepard is the founding president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board of Directors, and served as its first executive director as well, from 1999 to 2009. In her continuing role as board president, she travels across the nation speaking to audiences about what they can do as individuals and communities to make this world a more accepting place for everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation. Join us for a night of revelation, revolution, and hope as we all search for the freedom and ability within us to create a better world.
The Laramie Project depicts a community struggling to find acceptance and closure as they navigate through an ever-changing world in the hopes of shaping it into something better. Come see how these themes of endurance, fear, change, and hope sparked change in the country, and how they continue to spark a deeper meaning for those who view the show. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to experience this revolutionary and groundbreaking play in a new and exciting way with the UCSB Department of Theater and Dance.
The Laramie Project
by Moisés Kaufman and the Members of Tectonic Theater Project
directed by Eric Jorgensen
UCSB Hatlen Theater
March 1 & 6-8 / 8 PM
March 2 & 9 / 2 PM
The Laramie Legacy: A Conversation with Judy Shepard
February 22, 6 PM
Free (Reservation required through theaterdance.ucsb.edu)
Tickets and more info at theaterdance.ucsb.edu