Harwood Union High School presents “The Laramie Project” November 9-11. “The Laramie Project” presents a complex portrait of a community’s response to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man living in Laramie, Wyoming. In a series of poignant reflections, the residents of Laramie react to the hate crime and surrounding media storm with anger, bewilderment, and sorrow. The play portrays the seismic and deeply personal impact Shepard’s death had on this small town while also demonstrating the power of the human spirit to triumph over bigotry and violence.
The play draws on hundreds of interviews conducted with inhabitants of the town, company members' own journal entries, and published news reports. It is divided into three acts, and the 14 student actors portray more than 60 characters in a series of short scenes. The production is led by senior Ben Robinson, juniors Zoe Blackman, Seneca Whittingham, and Kai Haddock, sophomores Theo Riddick, and Max Maylin, and freshmen Tarin Askew, Camille Edgecomb, Julia Wulff, Lex Merlos, Harper Hayes, Eirann McDonough, Marley Green, and Maddy Abair. It is directed by Scott Weigand, and stage managers are sophomore Grady Hagenbuch and freshman Cali Neville.
"While this happened in 1998, it is a story that is still relevant today. These students have taken on the challenge of presenting this difficult material in a way that challenges all of us to take a look at ourselves. We honor Matthew Shepard by telling his story, and striving to improve how we treat others,” Weigand said.
The performances will take place in the theater at Harwood at 7:30 p.m. November 9-11. This play is based on a true story and includes mature content that some people may find upsetting, including strong language and descriptions of homophobia and death. It is not recommended for younger audience members.