California State University-East Bay Theatre-Dance opens season with “Laramie Project”

The Laramie Project,” a docu-dramatization of reactions to the 1998 murder of University of Wyoming gay student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo., will be staged Nov. 11, 12, 18, 19 and 20 by the Cal State East Bay Department of Theatre and Dance.

Through interviews with Laramie residents, law officers, officials, religious leaders, university members, students, friends, families, pro-gay and anti-gay activists and the national media, the show — written by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project — attempts to bring understanding and healing to an overwhelmed community.

The CSUEB production, directed by A. Fajilan, comes 13 years after Shepard’s death and 11 years after the play debuted in Denver.

“This is a fascinating compilation of voices deeply affected by the brutal beating and death,” said Thomas Hird, professor and chair of theatre and dance. “The show provides a stark testimony to our nation’s moral conscience.”

Fajilan said she sees “The Laramie Project” as an opportunity to honor and share the lives of those that are present and those that are gone.

She demands that her cast present the characters in the same heartfelt, human manner Laramie residents expressed when sharing their stories with the playwright and hopes that audiences will be inspired to recognize human injustices, she added.

The performances will be held in the University Theatre, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd, on the northeast side of campus. Show times will be 8 p.m. Nov. 11, 12, 18 and 19; and at 2 p.m. Nov. 20.

Tickets, at $5 for CSUEB students, $10 for youth, seniors, and those with CSUEB ID, and $15 general, may be reserved online[5]  or by calling (510) 885-3118.

Information on the theatre and dance 2011-12 season also is available on the CSUEB Web site[6].

Campus parking is $10 per weekday, $5 per weekend day, or $2 per hour. Permit dispensers, which accept credit cards or debit cards, are located in Lots K, H and N. The parking map[7] is posted online.

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