Ford's Theatre Hosts Candlelight Vigil in Honor of Matthew Shepard and National Coming Out Day

Ford's Theatre will host a candlelight vigil Oct. 11 at 10:15 PM in honor of the legacy of Matthew Shepard and National Coming Out Day.

The vigil, which is free to the public, will follow a performance of The Laramie Project, held at the First Congregational United Church of Christ.

The Laramie Project, written by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project, is based on the murder of gay University of Wyoming student Shepard.

All proceeds from the Oct. 11 performance will be donated to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, founded in honor of Shepard, who died Oct. 12, 1998.

Presented in conjunction with the Ford's production of The Laramie Project and as part of The Lincoln Legacy Project, the vigil will feature remarks by the late Shepard's father, Dennis Shepard, as well as a performance by members of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington. Rev. Dwayne Johnson of the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington will lead an interfaith moment of silence.

A multi-year effort to create dialogue in Washington, DC, around the issues of tolerance, equality and acceptance, The Lincoln Legacy Project features a series of cornerstone theatre productions, educational programs and special events, which look at racial and religious intolerance, social injustice and civil rights in American history and contemporary society. Ford's Theatre, which has been closed due to the government shutdown, has relocated several performances of The Laramie Project to First Congregational United Church of Christ.

Participants of the vigil can register by visiting

More information about Ford's Theatre can be found by visiting