COLUMBIA STATE PERFORMS HATE CRIME DOCUDRAMA, THE LARAMIE PROJECT

Performances Free and Open to the Public Thursday, March 29

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – March 22, 2012) - - - The Laramie Project, a docudrama play written in the aftermath of the Oct. 12, 1998 murder of gay Wyoming student, Matthew Shepard, will be enacted by a cast of Columbia State Community College students, faculty and community members on Thursday, March 29 in the Ledbetter Auditorium on the Columbia campus. The play, written by Moises Kaufman, will be performed twice, once at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.

Matthew Shepard was found beaten, his body tied to a fence in the outskirts of the city of Laramie, Wyo. His fatal assault occurred on Oct. 6. The shocking hate crime in this small Wyoming town resulted in the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, signed into law by President Barak Obama the following year.

The play is the result of six months worth of interviews conducted in Laramie in the weeks immediately following Shepard’s murder. It explores the complicated societal mix of events that led to such an ugly demonstration of hate in a picturesque American town, in which people are routinely left alone and human rights are respected. The play examines the police response and the impact the murder has left on the people of Laramie.

Actors include Anne Scott, Bo Bollinger, Anne Reeves, Sherrica Clark, Andrew Wright, DeMarcus Jackson and others. Musicians include Andrew Wright, Anne Scott and Mandy Carter-Lowe.

The Ledbetter Auditorium is located in the Frank G. Clement building, and the play is free and open to the public. A brief discussion will follow each performance.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.
 

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