Vanier College Productions (VCP) takes the stage with another captivating, challenging and socially relevant project. VCP will stage Moisés Kaufman’s award-winning play The Laramie Project, which explores reactions of the town of Laramie, Wyoming, to the brutal murder of 21-year-old Matthew Sheppard.
The production will be staged Jan. 20 to 29 in the Fred Thury Studio Theatre, 258 Vanier College. Show times are 8pm, Wednesday to Saturday, and 2pm on Sunday. To reach the theatre, take the stairs or elevator on the east side of the Vanier College Building to the second floor.
Sheppard was a gay student at the University of Wyoming who fell victim to a vicious beating as the result of a hate crime. The brutality of the attack on Sheppard sparked a national dialogue on gay rights in the United States and beyond. The play draws on the accounts of hundreds of interviews, news reports and journal entries and tells the story of the small town as it wrestled with its attitudes towards the LGBTQ community.
The play is directed by David Crawford who is a graduate of the York Theatre Program, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design and a VCP alumnus/ Crawford who has worked in theatre for more than 20 years, most notably for as co-producer for the DORA nominated shows Nightmare Dreams and Oraltario: A Theatrical Mixtape.
“Although the incident with Matthew Shepard happened over 20 years ago, and a lot of progress has been made, we continue to see violence against the LGBTQ community. Matthew’s story continues to be relevant today,” said Crawford.
Cast members and behind-the-scenes crew agree that the show presents a captivating and enticing platform to start a difficult albeit necessary conversation. “I think a play of this subject matter is still very relevant today and can be related to numerous other issues as well,” said Andrew Knott, the play’s stage manager. “It really makes people question the very serious effects seemingly harmless actions and attitudes can have.”
The Laramie Project, which has won the Stonewall Book Award and the Barbara Gittings Literature Award, has been hailed as a revolutionary play which works to move all those who watch it. The show has been highly acclaimed as an instrumental piece of work which worked to tell the story of the struggle that LGBTQ community members continue to face. The play forces the audience to look at not only the existing instances of violence against
The play forces the audience to look at not only the existing instances of violence against the LGBTQ community, but also the causes and roots of this violence, said Crawford.
General admission tickets are $25. Student admission with a student ID is $15. Wednesday and Thursday tickets for students with ID are $12 each. Tickets can be purchased online at vcplaramieproject.bpt.me up to two hours before show time. Tickets are also available at the door (cash only) subject to availability starting one hour prior to the start of the performance. For more information, visit vaniercollegeproductions.com.