LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 9, 2021) — In response to sociopolitical unrest across the country, the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance has chosen to present works of theatre inspired by such events. Up next is a piece of verbatim theatre, "The Laramie Project," screening Nov. 18-21.
On the evening of Oct. 6, 1998, a 21-year-old gay student Matthew Shepard, was kidnapped, beaten and left to die tied to a fence outside Laramie, Wyoming. He died five days later. “The Laramie Project,” written by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theatre Project, is a play that tells the story surrounding the murder of Matthew Shepard. As a verbatim theatre — or documentary style theatre — production, the work draws on hundreds of interviews conducted by the theatre company with inhabitants of the town of Laramie surrounding the events that led to the eventual death of Matthew Shepard. The text is drawn from company members' own journal entries and published news reports. It is divided into three acts, and eight actors portray more than 60 characters in a series of short scenes.
Directed by Nancy C. Jones, this filmed UK Theatre production will be screened for audiences 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18-20, and 2 p.m. Nov. 20, in the Guignol Theatre. A screening followed by a talkback with the cast and creative team of UK's production of "The Laramie Project" will be presented 2 p.m., Nov. 21, at Gatton Student Center's Worsham Cinema. Audiences may also livestream the production from their own devices at the designated show times. For optimal viewing, the production is best viewed on a large screen.
Tickets for "The Laramie Project" must be purchased in advance through BroadwayOnDemand.com. No tickets will be sold at the door for the Guignol Theatre screenings or Gatton Student Worsham Cinema screening and talkback. Student tickets are $7 and general admission tickets are $9. A service fee of $2.95 will be added upon completion of the transaction.
The Department of Theatre and Dance, part of UK College of Fine Arts, is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Students in the department get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from professional theatre and dance faculty and renowned guest artists in acting, directing, playwriting, theatrical design and technology, and dance. From mainstage productions to student-produced shows, students have plenty of opportunities to participate on stage or backstage. Special programs include a musical theatre certificate, education abroad, as well as a thriving dance program that emphasizes technique, composition, performance and production.
As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.
In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.