GRB’s Quirk’s Players to present ‘The Laramie Project’

The Laramie Project

Techtonic Theatre Member Leigh Fondakowski, played by Grace Trepasso (left). interviews community members from Laramie, Wyoming (Alexis Pawlewicz, Paige Havener and Steven McDougall) following the brutal kidnapping, torture and murder Matthew Shepard. The scene is from Quirk’s Players fall production of “The Laramie Project,” which will be presented Oct. 26 and 27 at G. Ray Bodley High School.

Sept. 13, 2010, New York State Governor David Patterson signed the Dignity For All Students Act into law. The law went into effect this past July in all public school districts throughout the Empire State.

According to the New York State Education Department web site, the Dignity For All Students Act “seeks to provide the state’s public elementary and secondary students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.”

The web site further calls for expanding tolerance and respect for others, especially those of “different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, gender identity, and sexes.”

In helping to promote the Dignity For All Students Act, Quirk’s Players of G. Ray Bodley High School will present the critically acclaimed production “The Laramie Project” this fall.  The story is based on the kidnapping, assault and murder of Matthew Shepard — a 21-year-old gay college student in Wyoming.  Shepard’s murder in 1998 garnered national attention when it occurred and spurred hate crime legislation.

The production is based on interviews conducted with members of the Laramie community over the course of the year following this crime. Quirk’s Players hopes this production will emphasize the importance of acceptance and dignity for human life.

“The Laramie Project” will be presented Friday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 27 in the G. Ray Bodley High School Auditorium.  Curtain time is set for 7:30 p.m. and tickets will be available at the door. The Laramie Project is rated PG-13 and is intended for mature audiences.

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