The reading of The Laramie Project — the documentary-like work set in the aftermath of the Laramie murder of a gay 21-year-old college student named Matthew Shepard — is being held Dec. 1, the date that would have marked Shepard's 30th birthday. The 8 PM performance will be directed by Moisés Kaufman, who wrote the acclaimed work with members of the Tectonic Theater Project. Those scheduled to take part in the reading include Stockard Channing, Cyndi Lauper, Chad Allen, Robert Desiderio, Van Hansis and Judith Light. Lauper will also offer a special performance, and Shepard's mother, Judy Shepard, will speak. The "Making a Difference" Award will be presented to Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project for "the creation and production of this groundbreaking play."
In a statement Kaufman said, "The Laramie Project's continued impact through the HBO film and thousands of performances around the world is a legacy that we're very proud of. Being recognized by the Matthew Shepard Foundation and presented this award by Judy Shepard is deeply meaningful and we look forward to the event and special reading in December."
Judy Shepard, who is the executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation added, "The most touching stories we have received were written after an individual has experienced a production of the Laramie Project. This extraordinary play captures the stark reality that hate still lives in all our communities. I am continually inspired to see how participating in or even viewing The Laramie Project invokes the kind of emotion and passion it takes to begin the process of erasing hate."
Town Hall is located in Manhattan at 123 West 43rd Street. For tickets visit www.matthewshepard.org or call Warren Greene at (303) 830-7400, ext. 12.