Walkerville School Staging The Laramie Project

Laramie-Project

Walkerville Collegiate and Walkerville Centre for Creative Arts are taking on one of the most performed plays throughout the US – The Laramie Project at the Collegiate on select dates from Nov. 17 to 25. It will be the first time a Windsor-Essex school will perform the emotional and potent play.

In October 1998 Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, severely beaten and left to die, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. Five weeks later, Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie, and over the course of the next year, conducted more than 200 interviews with people of the town. From these interviews they wrote the play The Laramie Project, a chronicle of the life of the town of Laramie in the year after the murder.

The events of The Laramie Project are based on real life. It was 19 years ago. And unfortunately, the repercussions of such actions are still felt today. The play uses no elaborate sets or costumes and each actor portrays seven to 10 different characters on stage. Many of the actors play very different backgrounds than what they might personally identify with.

“The events from 1998 must not be forgotten,” says play director Walter Cassidy. “Youth are still the targets of bullying, harassment and assault in our community and especially our LGBTQ youth.”

Cassidy says the play tells the story from so many different angles – and while a main focus is homophobia the play also will touch upon class, harassment, faith and the struggles a small town faces after being put on a world stage.

“The positive side to this is now there is wonderful support in the community and schools,” says Cassidy, but it doesn’t mean anyone can assume that all is well. “We still need to support students to be safe both in school and our community.”

Cassidy says the play tells the story from so many different angles – and while a main focus is homophobia the play also will touch upon class, harassment, faith and the struggles a small town faces after being put on a world stage.

“The positive side to this is now there is wonderful support in the community and schools,” says Cassidy, but it doesn’t mean anyone can assume that all is well. “We still need to support students to be safe both in school and our community”

The Laramie Project runs two weekends in November at Walkerville Collegiate – along with Walkerville Centre for Creative Arts (Nov. 17, 18, 24, 25 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 26 at 2 p.m.) $10 General Admission and $5 for students and seniors.

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