This year the Whitworth Theatre Department’s spring production is the docudrama “The Laramie Project.”
“The Laramie Project” is based on the death of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo., in October, 1998. Shepard was victimized in a hate crime because of his sexual orientation. A month after the violent tragedy, members of New York’s Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie and interviewed the people of the town. From these interviews, they wrote the play “The Laramie Project.”
“Theatre can provide a safe space to talk about things that might otherwise be hard to talk about, or give us perspectives that we haven’t thought of, or just help us consider our beliefs in new ways,” said Diana Trotter in a press release. She is a theatre professor and director of “The Laramie Project” at Whitworth.
In the docudrama each actor must play a variety of roles. The script is composed of actual interviews, court transcripts and media reports, which are delivered verbatim, giving authenticity to the voices of the characters in the story.
“We want to tell this story with as much integrity and authenticity as possible,” said Trotter. “And I hope that everyone — myself, the cast and crew, the audiences — is moved by the story, challenged by the questions that the play raises.”
Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard, was a guest speaker at Whitworth in fall 2011, speaking on “The Message of Matthew.” She and her husband founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation, to honor the memory of their son.
Performances will take place March 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and March 10 at 2 p.m. at Cowles Auditorium. Admission is free to Whitworth students with valid I.D. Tickets are $8, and $6 for senior citizens (age 62+). Tickets can be purchased online.