The 8 PM Hartford presentation will be presented free of charge as part of the "Brand:NEW" festival of new work. Tickets reservations are required, and a $10 donation is suggested, which will benefit the True Colors fund. Casting will be announced shortly.
Over 100 theatres from around the world will participate in the reading of the latest work from the Tectonic Theater Project, who traveled to Laramie, WY, a month after Shepard was left to die on a fence on the outskirts of the town. The 1998 interviews conducted with the families and townspeople became the basis of the groundbreaking Laramie Project.
This past year Tectonic Theater Project members Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris and Stephen Belber returned to Laramie to follow up with those involved, including Shepard's mother (who has now become a gay rights activist) and his convicted murderer.
"The Tectonic Theater Project set out to find out how Laramie had changed in the ten years since the murder of Matthew Shepard. When we arrived, we were forced to confront the question, 'How do you measure change in a community?' One of the things we found when we got there, which greatly surprised us, was people in Laramie saying this was not a hate crime," Kaufman said in a statement.
"The epilogue, according to press notes, "focuses on the long-term effects 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 Mathew’s murderer Aaron McKinney, who’s serving two consecutive life sentences. The writers also conducted many follow-up interviews Laramie residents from the original piece, including, Romaine Patterson, Reggie Fluty, Jedediah Shultz, Father Roger Schmidt, Jonas Slonaker, Beth Loffreda and others." The Tectonic Theater Project will also take part in an online interactive community where theatregoers can blog, upload video, discuss and share their own personal experience with The Laramie Project and their own communities.