AHS Thespians Present Powerful Drama Based on True Events

Maranda Gordon

This year at Arapahoe, the Thespians are putting on a production of The Laramie Project. The performances will be at 7:00pm on Oct. 13, 14, and 15 2022, in the Arapahoe Theater. Tickets are  $10 and can be bought at https://sites.google.com/lps.k12.co.us/ahst.

Please be aware this production is for mature audiences only, and although no acts of violence are shown, mature themes are discussed.

The Laramie Project is a play about the aftermath of the horrific hate crime that was committed against Matthew Shepard in Laramie Wyoming on October 6, 1998. He was kidnapped, severely beaten, and tied to a fence, left to die outside of Laramie for being gay. His body was discovered the next day, and he died several days later in a hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

The Laramie Project is the first dramatic play that Arapahoe has put on in years. The production is a showcase of some of the over 200 interviews conducted by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project, during the time in which Matthew Shepard was in the hospital, Matthew’s funeral, and the trials of Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney. 

The Laramie Project is an important play. It’s important to acknowledge problems such as LGBTQ+ hate, and to acknowledge community trauma, and being able to see a play that brings attention to things such as this. It matters that this play is available for people who connect with the subject matter to come see, and for anyone else to come learn about.

In an interview, Noah Cohrs, who is the lights designer and Rulon Stacy, spoke about how for a lot of people, an immediate response to cope with serious events is to laugh it off, or to make fun of it, but for such a serious production and event, you should refrain. Of course you can laugh during the show, but you should realize that The Laramie Project is important. Cohrs said, “It’s not like we’re all at a funeral and you have to wear black, but it’s acknowledging that it matters.”

The Thespians look forward to seeing people spill into the theater and take their seats on Oct. 13, 14, and 15. Remember to be a respectful member of the audience, and have a good time watching the show.