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laramie_smOn a sparse set, Milton students will tell the story of Matthew Shepard and the people of Laramie, Wyoming, in The Laramie Project. The cast of 13 actors will each portray three or four residents of Laramie, where college student Matthew was beaten and killed by two local men in 1998. The anti-gay hate crime drew worldwide media attention and propelled federal legislation to prevent future crimes against gay, lesbian, and transgendered people.

“The students have been fearless. They were interested in tackling this story and treated it with the utmost respect,” says Eleza Moyer, performing arts faculty member. Also vital to the play is the student tech team. Lighting, projection and video are used throughout the production to create a compelling feel.

Last month, two of the show’s creators from the Tectonic Theater Project, actor Andy Paris and director Leigh Fondakowski, visited campus to talk with students about Matthew, the creative theater process, and the role performance can play in national conversation.

This season’s production of The Laramie Project runs in Ruth King Theatre on Thursday, February 6, and Friday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m., and on Saturday, February 8, at 7 p.m.