Editor's Note: The following is a news release issued by Rider University.
Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts will present the provocative docu-drama The Laramie Project Oct. 27 through 30 in the Bart Luedeke Center Theater on the Rider University campus in Lawrence Township.
Performances will be Friday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 30 at 4 p.m. The preview performance on Thursday, Oct. 27 will begin at 7 p.m.
In October 1998, Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, severely beaten and left to die tied to a fence in the outskirts of Laramie, Wyo.
Five weeks later, Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie and conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the town. From these interviews, they wrote The Laramie Project, a chronicle of Laramie life in the year after the murder. Eight actors portray 60 characters in this powerful testament of the effects of tragedy on a small town.
Mike Kuchwara of the Associated Press wrote about the play, “Astonishing. Not since Angels in America has a play attempted so much; nothing less than an examination of the American psyche at the end of the millennium."
The cast is composed of Rider University students.
The production is directed by faculty member Trent Blanton, who directed Anatomy of Grey and Striking 12 in previous seasons at Rider. A member of Actor’s Equity, his professional acting credits include Les Miserables at Actors’ Playhouse; A Christmas Carol at Actors Theatre of Louisville; 1776 at Ford’s Theatre and the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera; Fiddler on the Roof at Starlight Musicals of Kansas City and The MUNY of St. Louis; A Christmas Carol and Romeo & Juliet at Alliance Theatre; and Masada at York Theatre in New York. Blanton was in the Broadway National Tour of Les Miserables and the musical’s Chinese premiere with Colm Wilkinson at the Shanghai Grand Theatre. He is also an active presenter with the Southeastern Theater Conference and production respondent for the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival.
Tickets for the October 28-30 performances are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. For tickets call For tickets call the box office at (609) 896-5303 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets for the preview performance on Oct. 27 are $9 and available only at the door.
Rider University is located at 2083 Lawrence Rd. in Lawrence. For updates visit www.rider.edu/arts.