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State Journal spotlights Department of Theatre and Drama’s ‘The Laramie Project’

April 02, 2018

The Wisconsin State Journal recently put the spotlight on an upcoming production of “The Laramie Project” by the School of Education’s Department of Theatre and Drama.

The show runs April 12 to 29 in Vilas Hall’s Hemsley Theatre.

The State Journal begins by reporting that “Drew Sutherland has never directed ‘The Laramie Project’ before, but it’s a show he’s had his eye on for some time."

The Laramie Project“I have something in my mind called ‘the orphan play box’ — they’re shows that I see being done that are maybe not done so well,” Sutherland, a senior lecturer with the Department of Theatre and Drama, tells the State Journal. “I think they still have worth and I get invested and I want to do the show. ... I really wanted to get my talons in this one for a while.”

In October 1998, 21-year-old Mathew Shepard was a University of Wyoming student who was kidnapped, brutally beaten and left for dead tied to a fence in the prairie outside Laramie, Wyoming. His death and the aftermath of the trial uncovered an ugly story of homophobia, hate, alienation, and intolerance.

Members of the Tectonic Theatre conducted a series of interviews with the people of Laramie and developed a powerfully theatrical mosaic of a community forced to look at the darkness of humanity and searching to find compassion and understanding.

The State Journal reports: “Being that the over 60 characters, played by just nine actors, are based on real people, there is a lot to consider for the UW- Madison students who are working on the show. Doing this play correctly means assigning the characters to a grey area and not making the situation in the play black and white, said Patrick Collins, a ‘Laramie’ cast member.”

“I think one of the most important aspects of this show today or anytime is the humanizing aspect,” Collins tells the State Journal.

To purchase tickets, and for complete show dates and times, visit the Arts on Campus Box Office.

To learn more, read the entire State Journal report on this Madison.com web page.

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