Ford's Theatre Will Produce Violet, Spelling Bee and 15th-Anniversary Production of Laramie Project
By Michael Gioia
A new production of The Laramie Project — marking the 15th anniversary of the killing of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard — is among the works in Ford's Theatre Society's 2013-14 season at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC.
The Laramie Project will be presented as the cornerstone production for the Ford's Theatre Society's "Lincoln Legacy Project," a multi-year effort dedicated to "sparking dialogue in the nation's capital around issues of social injustice and the ideals of equality for which Abraham Lincoln stood."
Matthew Gardiner (Glory Days assistant director) will direct the work by Moisés Kaufman and Members of the Tectonic Theatre Project, which will run Sept. 27-Oct. 27, 2013.
A series of free special programs and events will be offered in connection with the play in September and October 2013 and are presented in cooperation with several partner organizations including the Matthew Shepard Foundation, The Trevor Project, Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League, Facing History and Ourselves, Not in Our Town, Split This Rock, Teaching for Change, the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
"Inspired by Lincoln's work for justice, peace and equality, 'The Lincoln Legacy Project' investigates moments in our nation's history where we have failed to live up to our ideals, and provides a platform for dialogue to address steps toward improvement and reconciliation," said Paul Tetreault, Ford's Theatre Society director in a statement. "We hope that, in even a small way, this year's production of The Laramie Project might broaden our perspectives and open our eyes to how hate — in all its forms — weakens our society."
In addition to The Laramie Project, Ford's will present four free Monday night panel discussions including a conversation with Shepard's mother, Judy Shepard, and two staged readings of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, an epilogue exploring what life in Laramie tells us about life in America ten years later. A complete programming schedule will be announced in September 2013.
Additionally, the Ford's Theatre Society’s 2013-14 season includes Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, adapted by Michael Wilson and directed by Michael Baron with Edward Gero as Scrooge (Nov. 21, 2013-Jan. 1, 2014); Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet, based on "The Ugliest Pilgrim" by Doris Betts and directed and choreographed by Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun (Newsies) with music direction by Jay Crowder (Jan. 24-Feb. 23, 2014); and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, directed by Peter Flynn and choreographed by Michael Bobbitt with music direction by Christopher Youstra (March 14-May 17, 2014).
For more information and tickets, visit FordsTheatre.org.
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