The Athenian Players to Present “The Laramie Project”

The Laramie Project

The Athenian Players invite you to join them for their Fall 2023 performance of The Laramie Project by Moisés Kaufman and the Members of the Techtonic Theater Project. The Laramie Project is a groundbreaking theatrical exploration of the October 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a twenty-one year old University of Wyoming student who was kidnapped, beaten, and left tied to a fence until he was found the next day, taken to an area hospital where and he died several days later. Moved by the horrific events of this assault, Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of Laramie to explore the breadth of the reactions to the crime that brought a small town to national prominence. These interviews conducted by Kaufman and the Tectonic Theatre Project, along with their own experiences in Laramie, created “a breathtaking collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable”.   

“October 12, 2023 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s passing,” notes Dr. Hugh K. Long. “The events surrounding Matthew’s assault and murder, were extremely significant for those of us that were in our early 20s in the late 1990s as Matthew was one of our peers. I’ve taught this play for many years, and it always resonates with my North Alabama students, who even though they are separated by several generations, they often see their reflections in Matthew’s life and struggles. The true beauty of The Laramie Project is that it asks the cast, crew, and audience to reflect and consider how such an act of hate can occur in such a small town, and how an event can alter everyone touched by those actions.”

Directed by Dr. Hugh K. Long, with Scenic and Lighting Design by William Richardson, Costume Design by Dr. Kimberly Jack, and Stage Management by Honey Cox, The Laramie Project will run from November 16-19. The November 16, 17, & 18 performances will take place at 7:00 pm and the final performance on Sunday, November 19 will be an afternoon matinee beginning at 2:00 pm.

The Laramie Project’s talented cast includes Chelsea Baker, Courtney Blanchette, Jamar Echols, Mary Graben, Christina Johnson, Nick Jones, Tom Newton, and Marcus Patten.

This production is rated Theatre-MA for Mature Language and Adult Themes. Audience discretion is advised.

All performances will be presented in the Studio Theatre of the Performing Arts Center at the Alabama Center for the Arts, 133 Second Avenue NE, Decatur, AL. General Admission tickets are $15, and Students/Seniors/Faculty/Staff are $10. Tickets are available on the Alabama Center for the Arts website;

For more information about Matthew Shepard, please visit the Matthew Shepard Foundation website:

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