The Cast of “The Laramie Project”: Front – Danny Gay, Don Libby, Brittany Bazinet; Back – Emily Kalafarski, Josie French, Paul Menezes and Ray Fletcher; Missing – Jackie McDonald and Hannah Hanson. Contributed

For its first in-person production of the 2021, the Monmouth Community Players continue to make art in the midst of a pandemic. The Laramie Project, by Moisés Kaufman and the members of Tectonic Theater Project, will be performed outside at the South Road Farm in Fayette July16 through 18, with rain dates July 23- 25. Performances will be at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The production will be held at South Road Farm, 220 South Road in Fayette.

What makes The Laramie Project unique for the theatre is its minimalistic set and true-to-story setting, helping to drive home this powerful production. The show is being directed by Joanne McDonald, with assistant director Cami Gibson, and co-producers Josie French and Jackie McDonald. The stage crew includes Emily Carlton and Hannah McAdam.

The Laramie Project tells the real-life story of Matthew Shepard, a 21 year-old gay man who attended the University of Wyoming, through a series of interviews. In October 1998, Matthew was kidnapped, beaten, tied to a fence, and left for dead in the prairie outside of Laramie, Wyoming. Although he was found alive, he died a few days later. It would come to light in trial that Matthew had been a victim of a hate crime because of his sexuality.

Moisés Kaufman and other members of the Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie several times to conduct more than 200 interviews with residents of Laramie regarding the crime which, combined with their own reactions, became The Laramie Project. The interviews show a breathtaking compilation of reactions to the murder that explores the lowest depths of humanity but also the truest levels of compassion to which mankind can ascend.

The cast of The Laramie Project includes: Ray Fletcher of Monmouth; Danny Gay of North Monmouth; Don Libby of Auburn; Paul Menezes of Windham; Jackie McDonald of Mechanic Falls; Emily Kalafarski of Hallowell; Hannah Hanson of Fairfield; Brittany Bazinet of Greene; and Josie French of Lewiston. Dramaturg for the production is Jane Mitchell of Greene.

Tickets cost $15 for adults, $13 for seniors. Due to the mature subjects in this production it is recommended for high school age and above. A boxed lunch may be added on to tickets for an additional $12. You may bring your own chair or blanket to the production, or chairs may be rented in limited supply for $1 at the door (reservations made ahead of time to ensure availability).

To purchase tickets, request chair rental, or for more information visit monmouthcommunityplayers.org.

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