Thursday, October 05, 2006


ACTOR APPEARANCE: Van Hansis (Luke; ATWT)

On December 1, 2006, the Matthew Shepard Foundation will honor one of the world's most acclaimed pieces of theater and film, The Laramie Project, on the 30th birthday of the late Matthew Shepard.

The event will take place at the Town Hall Theater in Times Square, New York City.

The evening will consist of a celebrity play reading of The Laramie Project directed by Moises Kaufman and featuring celebrities such as Judith Light (ex-Karen; OLTL), Robert Desiderio (ex-Steve; OLTL), Van Hansis and openly gay actor Chad Allen. The evening will also include a special live performance by Cyndi Lauper.

Since its opening night almost seven years ago, the play has been produced over 5,000 times by schools, community theaters, faith-based organizations and mainstream theater groups around the world. This play has become a powerful tool for communities to discuss and explore how hate impacts every part of their society.

The Laramie Project
has received international recognition for its portrayal of how a small town reacted to and dealt with one of the most publicized hate crimes in America. The play recounts the shock and confusion the citizens of Laramie felt after hearing the details of Matthew's assault. There was a strong desire to move forward and a great deal of introspection about what had happened to their idyllic town after this tragedy. At the same time, some residents were angry because they felt they were being misrepresented in the media.

"The most touching stories we have received were written after an individual has experienced a production of The Laramie Project," said Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard and Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. "This extraordinary play captures the stark reality that hate still lives in all our communities. I am continually inspired to see how participating in or even viewing The Laramie Project, invokes the kind of emotion and passion it takes to begin the process of erasing hate."

100% of the proceeds from the evening will benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

To purchase tickets, please click here.

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