Celebrating 15 years

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Studio 180 Presents THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER in Toronto

OCTOBER 12, 2009 – 8PM at Bread & Circus

Tectonic Theater Project, the creators of the highly acclaimed play The Laramie Project, which since 2000 has been one of the most performed plays in North America, will premiere a compelling and groundbreaking epilogue to the original piece.

Written by Tectonic Theater Project members Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris and Stephen Belber, THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER will be performed for one night only on October 12, 2009, in New York at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, in Toronto at Bread & Circus in Kensington Market, and in over 120 other theatres across the world.

The Toronto performance will be directed by Studio 180’s Artistic Director Joel Greenberg. Performers include the entire cast from the Studio 180 production of The Laramie Project at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 2004 – Lesley Dowey, Deborah Drakeford, Marvin Hinz, Alison Lawrence, Mark McGrinder, Jeff Miller, Kimwun Perehinec and Dylan Roberts – as well as Jessica Greenberg (Blackbird), Maria Ricossa (The Arab-Israeli Cookbook) and Nigel Shawn Williams (Stuff Happens).

The performance will begin at 8 pm on October 12, 2009, with doors opening at 7 pm. Bread & Circus is located at 299 Augusta Avenue, 416-925-8898. Tickets will be available at the door only, and admission is By Donation, with all proceeds benefiting The 519 Church Street Community Centre.

Prior to the performance, a live webcast – hosted by Glenn Close – will be presented from Lincoln Center, with Moisés Kaufman and the original cast introducing the play. Following the performance, the webcast will be available for a live question and answer session with questions asked via twitter and other social media from the venues all over the world. NPR’s Neda Ulaby will moderate the live post-show Q&A.

The epilogue focuses on the long term effect of the murder of Matthew Shepard on the town of Laramie. It explores how the town has changed and how the murder continues to reverberate in the community. The play also includes new interviews with Matthew’s mother Judy Shepard and Matthew’s murderer Aaron McKinney, who’s serving dual life sentences, as well as follow-up interviews with many of the individuals from the original piece.

In tandem with the Premiere, an online interactive community will be launched at www.laramieproject.org where participants can blog, upload video and photos and share their stories about the play, experiences in preparing and presenting the Epilogue in their communities. The members of Tectonic Theater Project will be active participants in the online community, offering participants feedback and encouragement.

“We are honoured and very excited to bring The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later to Toronto,” said Joel Greenberg. “Our hope is that the epilogue helps us better understand the impact of Matthew’s death as well as provide truth and context as this piece of history is retold to a new generation.”

MORE INFORMATION

On October 6 of 1998, Matthew Shepard was beaten and left to die, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. He died six days later. His murder became a watershed historical moment in America that highlighted the violence and prejudice lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face.

A month after the murder, the members of Tectonic Theater Project travelled to Laramie and conducted interviews with the people of the town. From these interviews, they wrote the play The Laramie Project, which they later made into a film for HBO. The piece has been seen by more than 50 million people around the world.

Tectonic Theater Project would like to acknowledge the extraordinary leadership of The Rockefeller Foundation in supporting the development of the original Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.

TECTONIC MISSION STATEMENT / INFO

Tectonic Theater Project (Moisés Kaufman, Artistic Director, Greg Reiner, Executive Director, Jeffrey LaHoste, Managing Director, Dominick Balletta, General Manager) is the company behind such plays as Gross Indecency, The Laramie Project and I Am My Own Wife. Awards include the Humanitas Prize, the Obie, the Lucille Lortel Award, The Outer Critics Circle Award, the GLAAD Media Award, the Artistic Integrity Award from HRC and the Making a Difference Award/Matthew Shepard Foundation. Tectonic works in universities around the United States and hosts a NY-based lab for theatre artists. Thanks to the NEA, Greenwall Foundation, Arcus Foundation, Small Change Foundation and Educational Foundation of America. For more information, visit www.tectonictheaterproject.org.