The Laramie Project at CTC
Commonwealth Theatre Center’s The Laramie Project commemorates 20 years since the death of Matthew Shepard and honors the ongoing campaign for LGBTQIA+ rights.
“Hate is not a Laramie Value”
20 years ago, the world watched as young gay man Matthew Shepard fought for his life after being brutally beaten and tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. In the aftermath of that wrenching event and amid the media coverage that followed, writer Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project arrived in Laramie and compiled found texts (court and media sources) and interviews with more than 60 residents of the small town, creating from those source materials the play The Laramie Project.
“What’s so great about The Laramie Project,” says director Mitchell Martin, “is that you get this amalgamation of voices—I mean there’s 64 characters in the play, and you find that the show isn’t specific to just Laramie, but it’s all of America. You see your teachers, your neighbors, and yourself.”
Matthew’s story sparked nationwide attention and a push for gay rights. With this production, Commonwealth Theatre Center honors the struggle for basic rights and protections for the LGBTQIA+ community and reminds current audiences of how relevant this show remains.
The Laramie Project
by Moisés Kaufman & members of Tectonic Theater Project
directed by Mitchell Martin
performed by actors from the Walden Theatre Conservatory
October 11-20 at Commonwealth Theatre Center
1123 Payne Street, Louisville, KY 40204
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 pm
($15 adults, $10 students/seniors)
Saturdays at 2:00 pm
($10 adults, $8 students/seniors)
Louisville Youth Group Workshops
Throughout production of the play, director Mitchell Martin has also worked closely with the Louisville Youth Group, a non-profit that offers free programming to young LGBTQIA+ people from the ages of 14-21. In a series of workshops spanning 8 weeks, Martin and participants of LYG have been conducting interviews with one another, similar to the approach used by the writers of The Laramie Project. Together with those source materials to guide them, Martin and LYG are devising an original play based on themes from Laramie—offering a contemporary take on the challenges and hopes faced by LGBTQIA+ young people today. CTC will present a staged reading of the original play on October 20 at 5:00 pm.
About Louisville Youth Group:
Louisville Youth Group (LYG) is the primary LGBTQIA+ nonprofit community serving LGBTQIA+ youth in Kentuckiana. LYG provides a safe space for gender and sexuality diverse young adults to grow their identities, learn leadership skills, and develop the tools needed to both thrive personally and to act as agents of change in their communities.
About the Director:
Mitchell Martin is a Louisville native and alumni of the Commonwealth Theatre Center’s Walden Theatre Conservatory. He began working with CTC in 2016 and joined the full time staff as an Artistic Associate and the Alumni Company Director. A recent transfer from Chicago, He has worked with theatres like the Griffin Theatre, Oak Park Festival Theatre, and Shattered Globe Theatre. Mitchell spent a year with The National Players performing in Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and A Tale of Two Cities in repertory. He holds a BFA from Northern Illinois University.