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Churchill High School Presents The Laramie Project

The Churchill High School will present their production of The Laramie Project on December 17th and 18th at 6PM in the Kristy Baxter Auditorium. The Laramie Project is a documentary-style play created by the Venezuelan playwright Moises Kaufman and members of Tectonic Theater Project, an experimental company whose work has often touched on social themes. The Laramie Project analyzes the death of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay college student who was brutally murdered in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1998 because of his sexual identity. Shepard's murder is one of the most well-known hate crimes in recent American history. In 2009, the U.S. Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a piece of legislation that strengthens existing hate crime laws.

On opening night of the production (December 17th), there will be a talkback with Barbara Pitts-McAdams of Tectonic Theatre Company, one of the co-creators and original cast members of The Laramie Project immediately following the show. Barbara will dialogue with audience members and our cast regarding the process of making the show, its impact, and its relevancy today. The High School will have an assembly on the 18th during the school day when they will engage with Ms. Pitts-McAdams as well.

In addition to the performance, students from The Churchill High School Arts and Social Justice classes have been researching and discussing hate crime in America.  Students will be facilitating an Immersive Gallery for audience members to explore beginning at 5pm on both performance days (17th & 18th).  They will conduct interviews (mirroring the process of Tectonic Theater Company), share a memorial wall of research they conducted on victims of hate crimes, provide information on The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and facilitate a blackout poetry station.

The Churchill School Rainbow Alliance and PRISM groups from the elementary and middle school have partnered with the High School to make buttons to sell before the performances of The Laramie Project. Proceeds will go to the Matthew Shepard Foundation (MSF). For more information about MSF visit: https://www.matthewshepard.org/

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