Friday, April 13, through Sunday, April 22
Scott Community College's Black Box Theatre, 500 Belmont Road, Bettendorf IA
Called “a provocative fusion of objective reality and emotional punch” by the New York Times and “thoughtful, pained, and powerful” by Variety magazine, The Laramie Project wraps up Scott Community College's 2017-18 theatre season April 13 through 22, the iconic Matthew Shepard drama featuring 10 student actors who portray more than 60 characters between them.
The setting is Laramie, Wyoming, population 26,687. Often referred to as “the gem city of the plains,” Laramie was the sight of the brutal 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard – a gay, 21-year-old University of Wyoming student who, on October 6, was found tied to a buck fence beaten and unconscious. On October 6, local youths Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney were arrested for kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and attempted first-degree murder. On October 12, Shepard died after five days in a coma, and the charges against Henderson and McKinney were amended to include first-degree murder.
Written by Moisés Kaufman and 11 fellow members of the Tectonic Theatre Project, The Laramie Project finds several of the play's eventual authors as traveling to Laramie and conducting interviews with the people of the town – friends, acquaintances, and those who knew his name only after the tragedy occurred. Edited from hundreds of hours of interviews, the play, through a series of monologues and short scenes, creates a stark, complex portrait of rural citizens coming to grips with their town's collective attitude toward homosexuality and hate crimes – a heartbreaking work that's also rich in tolerance, compassion, and hope for the future.
Scott Community College's theatre professor Dr. Kevin Babbitt directs The Laramie Project, his previous productions for the school including Almost, Maine, God of Carnage, and Baby with the Bathwater. And the drama's cast is composed of 10 SCC students, each of whom assumes numerous roles: Oliver Blu, Sam Burke, Isabel Conner, Ben Herrington, Jasmine Jaime, Aria Jensen, Lee Malm, Joseph Nguyen, Julian Totton, and Makis Witt.
The Laramie Project will be presented on Fridays at Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m., and Scott Community College's Black Box Theatre is localted in room 228 through the college's outer Door #2. Tickets are $8 at the door with reservations suggested, and more information is available by contacting diorector Babbitt at (563)441-4339 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.