The Laramie Project Project
As a theatre artist and activist, I’m embarking on a nationwide arts advocacy initiative alongside several upperclassmen from the School of Performing Arts at Gloucester County Institute of Technology in Sewell, NJ.
Last December, Juniors in the Drama Program performed The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman and the members of the Tectonic Theater Project, which chronicles the reactions of the town of Laramie after the hate crime that all-too-quickly took Matthew Shepard’s life. This play was certainly a life-changer for our cast and our audiences, but when we took our final bows on December 10th, Laramie was not yet done.
The Laramie Project Project team aims honor the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting by organizing 49 groups to conduct performances or hold staged readings of Laramie. While nearly 18 years have passed since the initial hate crime, recent tragic events such as the June massacre in Orlando have reminded us just how relevant this story is. Laramie’s message of “peace, love, and compassion” is exactly what we wish to impart to audiences everywhere.
We have 25 groups so far from five states. We would be honored to have your school’s drama club/GSA/English class/advocacy club involved in this project. We also are encouraging colleges, pro theatre group, and even non theatre groups to partake. The LPP is for anyone and everyone wishes to memorialize the 49 victims and become part of a movement that is using the positivity of theatre to create something beautiful.
We understand that the theatre season is super busy, so we encourage any kind of participation, anywhere from a full-blown production to an informal staged reading.
As a young adult I am constantly in the midst of the school setting that sometimes accepts and sometimes rejects our kids. We have come remarkably far in our journey for equality, but the impression that the battle is over is a falsehood. The LPP is uniting artists across the county to utilize this remarkable piece of theatre to speak candidly about our society and what we can do to keep hope alive. We will strive to say the names of our 49 departed — so that they are never forgotten.
The Laramie Project Project Team:
LPP Team Leader Alyssa Sileo,
and members of the LPP team Dylan Glick, Kelly Bagby, Kayla Bowe, Taylor Sabatini, Alexa Sabatini, Cassidy Werkheiser, and Haley Watson, and Melina Madara