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SAF Young People's Theater

Members of the SAF Young People’s Theater high-school acting group will perform a staged reading of The Laramie Project, a play based on the events surrounding the murder of Matthew Shepard.   On October 7, 1998, a young gay man was discovered bound to a fence in the hills outside Laramie, Wyoming, savagely beaten and left to die in an act of brutality and hate that shocked the nation. Moises Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half in the aftermath of the beating and conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the town. From these interviews as well as their own experiences, the theater group constructed a deeply moving theater piece. The Laramie Project chronicles the life of the town of Laramie in the year after the murder, speaking in their own words. From rural ranchers to university professors, we hear the voices of Laramie in the wake of the tragic events that occurred there.       After Matthew Shepards’ mother Judy spoke at Telluride High School last March, YPT Artistic Director Jennifer Julia was compelled to continue the dialogue with her students and the Telluride community. “I felt that a staged reading of The Laramie Project was an important project for my students to undertake. Theater provides such an accessible and relevant forum for the discussion of important topics, particularly with a brilliant and innovative piece such as this one.”   Fifteen high school student members of the Young People’s Theater company will perform the piece as a staged reading. They will portray over 60 characters through the course of the play. The piece contains strong language and the subject material and is not recommended for children under 14. The staged reading will be performed free to the public, and a hat will be passed at the end of the performance to collect donations for the Young People’s theater and the Matthew Shepard Foundation.