The World on Stage
The inaugural season of international theater programming by ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage kicks off with the Boston debut of The New York-based Tectonic Theater Project, performing two works: "The Laramie Project" and the World Premiere of "The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later," by Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris and Stephen Belber.
Performances of both plays will take place September 24 - October 2 at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, located at 219 Tremont Street in Boston’s Theatre District.
To underscore the importance of these premieres, ArtsEmerson has planned two panel discussions to examine the impact of this seminal work. These discussions will feature representatives from the Department of Justice, Tectonic Theater Project, Matthew Shepard Foundation, and other civil rights activists, along with community leaders, including Katherine Patrick, and will take place in the days before the two works are performed at the Cutler Majestic.
Panel discussions are open to the public, and will be held in the Bright Family Screening Room at The Paramount Center, 559 Washington Street in Boston. Admission is free, but registration is required. To register, visit the Laramie Residency page at ArtsEmerson.org and click on the “Extras” tab.
THE PANEL DISCUSSIONS
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 6:30—8 p.m.
Panelists will include: activist Katherine Patrick
(daughter of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick); Greg Reiner
from Tectonic Theater Project; Thomas Howard Jr. of the
Matthew Shepard Foundation; Carol Rose of the Massachusetts
ACLU; Karen Loewy of Gay & Lesbian Advocates and
Defenders; and Matt Nosanchuk, Senior Counselor, Department
of Justice Civil Rights Division, a leader in the DOJ’s efforts
to educate law enforcement and citizens on the provisions of the Shepard/Byrd
Act. Additional panelists will include leaders of the Gay &
Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Anti-Defamation League, and
Human Rights Campaign. More panelists may be announced.
This discussion will examine successful tolerance programs in schools and communities, personal success stories of overcoming prejudice and the hot topic of bullying and its prevention.
Panelists will include: Pam Garramone of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); Frank Pantano of the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); David Gammons from the Concord Academy (Gammons directed what may have been the first high school production of "The Laramie Project"); Abe Rybeck from The Theater Offensive; Penelope Larson from The Crossing; bullying prevention expert Bethany Nelson of Emerson College; Greg Reiner from Tectonic Theater Project; and Thomas Howard Jr. of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. The panel will be moderated by Chris Serwacki, advisor of Emerson’s Alliance for Gays Lesbians and Everyone (EAGLE).
In addition, ArtsEmerson is planning a series of "Laramie" Dine and Discuss sessions to take place at area restaurants between shows on three dates when both the original and the Epilogue are being performed on the same day. Patrons will have dinner in small groups with prominent civil rights activists and scholars who will facilitate discussions inspired by the plays. Dine and Discuss leaders will be announced in the coming weeks.
There is no fee to join a Dine and Discuss session, however
participants must have tickets to one of the plays and pay for their own
meal. Tables of ten will be reserved for 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 25 and Oct.
2 and at 5 p.m. on Sept.26. Participating restaurants include Max
& Dylan’s Kitchen and Bar and BiNA Osteria.
Reservations are required, and patrons can fill out the reservation form
on the Laramie Residency page at ArtsEmerson.org
by clicking on the “Extras” tab.
On October 6, 1998, Matthew Shepard was
beaten and left to die tied to a fence in the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming.
Matthew’s murder became a watershed historical moment that highlighted
many of the fault lines in our culture. A month after the murder, the
members of Tectonic Theater Project set out for Laramie
and conducted interviews with more than 200 residents. The resulting play,
"The Laramie Project," which premiered in 2000,
has become one of the most-performed plays in American history, seen by
more than 30 million people around the country. It has also been a driving
force in the movement to enact the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd,
Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, signed into law by President
Obama in October 2009.
For tickets and information, call 617-824-8000 or visit ArtsEmerson.org. (Shows are appropriate for ages 14 and up.)
-- Production photo: Ken Friedman
-- OnStage Boston
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