Ato Blankson-Wood, Julie White, and Brandon Uranowitz will perform in a staged reading of The Laramie Project at Symphony Space. The reading, benefiting The Trevor Project, will be held October 16 at 7 PM. Dustin Wills (Wolf Play, Wet Brain) directs the one-night-only performance.
The reading honors the 25th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man in Laramie, Wyoming, who was beaten to death in a homophobic hate crime. Moisés Kaufman and The Tectonic Theater Project's play, staged in a documentary-journalism style where the residents of Laramie (played by the ensemble) are interviewed about Shepard and the events leading up to and following his death, was created through interviews and information sourced in Laramie from members of the community. Since it was first staged in 2000, it has brought Shepard's story to life in countless cities across the United States, educating audiences about the consequences of hate, intolerance, and prejudice.
The Symphony Space reading is produced by Gregory Ryan, Katie Hesketh, and District Productions. Additional cast members will be announced shortly.
The Laramie Project was written by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project, including head writer Leigh Fondakowsk; associate writers Greg Pierotti, Stephen Belber, and Stephen Wangh; and dramaturgs Amanda Gronich, Sara Lambert, John McAdams, Maude Mitchell, Andy Paris, Barbara Pitts, and Kelli Simpkins.
The work premiered at The Ricketson Theatre by the Denver Center Theatre Company/Denver Center for the Performing Arts in February 2000. It was next performed in New York City's Union Square Theatre before returning to Laramie, Wyoming, in November 2002. Later that year, The Laramie Project was adapted into a film written and directed by Kaufman.
The Laramie Project has been seen by an estimated 20 million people and performed on stages in more than 20 countries in 13 different languages. The play was a major figure in increasing queer visibility in pop culture in the 2000's, and helped enact a Hate Crimes Prevention Act signed into effect by President Barack Obama.
For tickets to the reading and more information, click here.