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.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.