Actors Theatre partners with Fairness Campaign - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Actors Theatre partners with Fairness Campaign

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Actors Theatre announces participation in THE LARAMIE PROJECT: 10 YEARS LATER, featuring the 2009-2010 Acting Apprentice Company. The creators of the highly acclaimed play The Laramie Project, which since 2000 has been one of the most performed plays in America, will premiere this compelling and groundbreaking epilogue to the original piece. There will be a stage reading of the play in New York at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and over 100 other theaters in all fifty states, Canada, Great Britain, Spain, Hong Kong and Australia on October 12, 2009. The writers of this play are Tectonic Theater Project members Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris, and Stephen Belber. Actors Theatre's reading will take place Monday, October 12 at 8 p.m. in the Pamela Brown Auditorium. There is no cost for this event, but tickets are required. Reservations can be made by calling 502-584-1205. The Fairness Campaign is a proud partner of Actors Theatre’s stage reading and will be leading a discussion panel directly following. Donations will be accepted at this event and proceeds will benefit both the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Fairness Campaign. Underwriters of this production, locally, are Emily Bingham and Stephen Reily, with additional support from Carla Wallace. The epilogue focuses on the long-term effects of the murder of Matthew Shepard on the town of Laramie. It explores how the town has changed and how the murder continues to reverberate in the community. The play also includes new interviews with Matthew’s mother Judy Shepard and Mathew's murderer Aaron McKinney, who’s serving two consecutive life sentences. The writers also conducted many follow-up interviews Laramie residents from the original piece, including, Romaine Patterson, Reggie Fluty, Jedediah Shultz, Father Roger Schmidt, Jonas Slonaker, Beth Loffreda and others. In tandem with the Premiere, an online interactive community will be launched where participants can blog, upload video and photos and share their stories about the play, experiences in preparing and presenting the Epilogue in their communities. The members of Tectonic Theater Project will be active participants in the online community, offering participants feedback and encouragement. “The Tectonic Theater Project set out to find out how Laramie had changed in the ten years since the murder of Matthew Shepard. When we arrived, we were forced to confront the question, ‘How do you measure change in a community?’ One of the things we found when we got there, which greatly surprised us, was people in Laramie saying this was not a hate crime,” said Moises Kaufman, Artistic Director of Tectonic Theater Project. "We found the people of Laramie still fighting to own their own history, their own identity, their own story, and part of that is shaped by how they understand what happened that night to Matthew,” continued Leigh Fondakowski. “Creating the epilogue also gave us the opportunity to talk to Aaron McKinney about his crime, what his thinking is about it now, and what his experience has been in prison over the past decade,," said Greg Pierotti, the company member who interviewed Aaron. "We were also able to speak with Matthew's mother, Judy Shepard, whose striking transformation from privately grieving mother to civil rights activist has captured the nation’s attention,” concluded Andy Paris. MORE INFORMATION: On October 6th of 1998 Matthew Shepard was beaten and left to die tied to a fence in the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. He died 6 days later. His murder became a watershed historical moment in America that highlighted the violence and prejudice lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face. A month after the murder, the members of Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie and conducted interviews with the people of the town. From these interviews they wrote the play The Laramie Project, which they later made into a film for HBO. The piece has been seen by more than 50 million people around the country. TICKETS/PERFORMANCE: October 12, 8p.m. Actors Theatre, Pamela Brown Auditorium There is no cost for this event, but tickets are required. For reservations call 502-584-1205. More information at www.ActorsTheatre.org.

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