Cal Poly Pomona Theatre Department Presents 'The Laramie Project'

Cal Poly Pomona Theatre Department Presents 'The Laramie Project'
Andzej Malins as Dennis Shepard and Mark Smith as Aaron McKinney in “The Laramie Project.”

Cal Poly Pomona Theatre will present The Laramie Project, a play based on the real life murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, from May 11 – 20 in the University Theatre.

The play explores what happens to residents of a small town after Shepard's brutal homicide in 1998. Everyone has a story to tell in Moises Kaufman's award-winning drama The Laramie Project.

“The play gets to the heart of intolerance and makes people question their preconceptions,” says Professor Bernardo Solano, the play's director. “In light of the events at Virginia Tech, it seems important for the campus community to re-examine the causes of violence and judgment.”

The play follows a group of actors to Laramie, Wyo., where the tragedy occurred. Once there, the actors conduct interviews with more than 200 of the local residents. This experience leads them to chronicle their journey in a play titled The Laramie Project.

Divided into three acts, the production will consist of 11 performers portraying nearly 60 characters. Although no violence is staged, the content of the play is geared toward a mature audience.

Kaufman and his theatre group, the Tectonic Theatre Project, wrote the play to focus on the issues of social justice and tolerance. As a result, this cautionary tale raised awareness about hate crimes nationwide.

The Laramie Project will be staged at 8 p.m. on May 11 – 12 and May 17 – 19. The shows final performance is at 2 p.m. on May 20. Reservations are required for a special 10 a.m. group matinee on May 16. A panel discussion will be held following the May 12 performance. Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students, staff and seniors.

For additional information, call the Theatre Box Office at (909) 869-3800.