‘The Laramie Project’

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  • GLACIER JUNIOR Nathan Mayhak in a scene from “The Laramie Project.”

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    GLACIER SOPHOMORES Zach Hill and Jezalyn Schussler in a scene from “The Laramie Project.” (Photos courtesy of Sara Menssen)

  • GLACIER JUNIOR Nathan Mayhak in a scene from “The Laramie Project.”

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    GLACIER SOPHOMORES Zach Hill and Jezalyn Schussler in a scene from “The Laramie Project.” (Photos courtesy of Sara Menssen)

Glacier High School’s Wolfpack Theatre Co. will perform “The Laramie Project,” a story based around the heinous 1998 murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, Feb. 3 and 4 at 6:33 p.m. at the high school.

Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students, children and seniors. Tickets are available at the school’s main office, at Photo Video Plus (284 Fourth Ave. W., Kalispell) and the door, if available.

“THE LARAMIE Project” is written by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project. The performance explores the issues of hate crimes, sexuality and the death penalty in rural America, while also demonstrating the power of the human spirit to triumph over bigotry and violence. This production contains strong language and adult subject matter. Parental discretion is advised.

Shepard, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming, was kidnapped, tortured and left tied to a fence post in a hate crime. He died several days later from his injuries. “The Laramie Project” is based on hundreds of interviews conducted by members of the Tectonic Theatre Project and follows a community’s attempt to answer the question, “How could this happen in our town?”

Kaufman and others made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half in the aftermath of the beating, included during the trial of the two young men accused of killing Shepard. Some of the individuals interviewed were directly connected to Shepard and to the case, while others were citizens of Laramie. “The Laramie Project” is a call to its audience to confront the destructive power of bullying and hate in all forms while helping to start new conversations around the issues of equality and acceptance.

“Every word said in this play is from a real human being,” Glacier senior and student director Brock Adkins said. “Nothing is fabricated or embellished. What you will see is the raw truth.

“I will be the first to admit that there may be certain scenes that are simply difficult to watch, but I urge you to remember that this is more of a reenactment than it is a play.”

“The Laramie Project” features an all-student production team under the direction of Wolfpack Theatre Co. staff member Greg Adkins, and the director of Wolfpack Theatre Company, Ivanna Fritz.

“As I was casting this play I decided to cast every person that auditioned,” Greg Adkins said. “Belief in the message of this play is vital to the overall success of the play and I reasoned that if someone was willing to join me in sharing this message, I had no right to suppress this passion.

“There are many kids in this play that have never acted before, but that doesn’t often show. What shows is that these kids believe in what they are saying.”

THE CAST of “The Laramie Project” includes: Abigail Vanorny, Aidan Fritz, Alec Willis, Aleesha Hillis, Allison Briner, Alyssa Framness, Amanda Wiersma, Ammon Hill, Angelina Pitt, Brooklyn Lamers, Drew Fitzgerald, Isaac Schroeder, Jenna McCrorie, Jezalyn Schussler, Kimberly Liles, Margaret Brummel, Matt Knuffke, Millie Espeseth, Nathan Mayhak, Robert Hurly, Suzanne Loviska, Teslyn Hartman, Tyler Combs, Victoria Kramer and Zachary Hill.

Behind the scenes, Aaron Clark, Riley Wilton, Skye Smith, Emma Trunkle, Jaeden Woepel and Tristen Lang make up the stage, lighting, music and sound crew.

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