Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site (Museum, Theatre, Petersen House) and the Center for Education and Leadership will be closed to the public on Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014.

FORD’S THEATRE PRESENTS "THE LARAMIE PROJECT" SEPT. 27-OCT. 27, 2013

FORD'S THEATRE PRESENTS

THE LARAMIE PROJECT
BY MOISÉS KAUFMAN and MEMBERS OF THE TECTONIC THEATER PROJECT
DIRECTED BY MATTHEW GARDINER

Mainstage production marks 15 years
since Matthew Shepard’s murder

First fully produced professional production of
the play in Washington, D.C., in more than a decade

Third featured production of
The Lincoln Legacy Project:
Multi-year effort to create dialogue around the issues of
diversity, equality and acceptance

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ford’s Theatre presents The Laramie Project, by Moisés Kaufman and Members of the Tectonic Theater Project directed by Matthew Gardiner, September 27 through October 27, 2013.

The centerpiece of this year’s programming for The Lincoln Legacy Project—an effort to generate dialogue around issues of diversity, equality and acceptance—The Laramie Project presents a deeply complex portrait of a community’s response to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man living in Laramie, Wyoming. In a series of poignant reflections, the residents of Laramie react to the hate crime and surrounding media storm with anger, bewilderment and sorrow. The play portrays the seismic and deeply personal impact Matthew’s death had on this small town while also demonstrating the power of the human spirit to triumph over bigotry and violence. Fifteen years later, Matthew Shepard’s story still reverberates, urging us on with its clarion call to confront the destructive power of bullying and hate, in all forms.

“The idea behind the creation of The Laramie Project was to shed light on a town’s diverse reaction to the killing of Matthew Shepard, and to do so in an objective way that does not preach for one side or the other, but profoundly illuminates the sociological implications of a hateful crime,” said director Matthew Gardiner. “I am excited to work with this strong Washington cast to create a production that feels as daring and provocative as the Ford’s Theatre decision to do this piece.”

“When we began planning for The Lincoln Legacy Project three years ago, I knew that we must include this play as part of our exploration of intolerance and injustice in America,” said Ford’s Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault. “It has been 15 years since Matthew died, but his story still reverberates. Our exploration of the issues raised by The Laramie Project will continue in multiple forms, including special Monday night panel discussions, a world-premiere exhibition of letters received by the Shepard family in the wake of Matthew’s death, and other commemorative events throughout October. We hope that the Washington community will join us at Ford’s Theatre this fall to better understand this story and continue discussions about how we can work toward erasing hate and promoting acceptance in our community.”

The Laramie Project is made possible with support from Lead Sponsor Lockheed Martin Corporation and sponsors Oshkosh Corporation, Siemens Corporation and Qualcomm. The Washington Post is the Official Media Partner for The Laramie Project and The Lincoln Legacy Project. The Ford’s Theatre 2013-2014 Season Sponsors are The Home Depot and Chevron.

THE DIRECTOR
Matthew Gardiner makes his Ford’s Theatre directorial debut with The Laramie Project. He has directed and/or choreographed more than 25 productions including the recent Company and Dreamgirls at Virginia’s Signature Theatre, where he also serves as Associate Artistic Director. Gardiner’s New York credits include productions for Circle in the Square and the New York Musical Theatre Festival. He also has directed productions for the Kennedy Center, Studio Theatre, Everyman Theatre and Catholic University of America.

THE CAST
The cast for The Laramie Project is comprised of acclaimed Washingtonian actors including Kimberly Gilbert, Mitchell Hébert, Amy McWilliams, Eric M. Messner, Paul Scanlan, Kimberly Schraf, Chris Stezin, Katherine Renee Turner, Holly Twyford and Craig Wallace.

THE DESIGNERS
Scenic Designer Beowulf Boritt’s (Fly, Broadway’s The Scottsboro Boys) designs evoke Wyoming mountain ranges, and Projection Designer Clint Allen’s (Fly, The Heavens Are Hung In Black) monitor displays showcase the media storm that the town of Laramie faced in the wake of Matthew’s killing. The Laramie Project design team also includes Costume Design by Helen Huang (The Rivalry, The Carpetbagger’s Children), Lighting Design by Rui Rita (Fly, A Christmas Carol, Meet John Doe, Trying), and Original Music and Sound Design by John Gromada (Fly, Necessary Sacrifices, Sabrina Fair). The production team also includes Production Stage Manager Brandon Prendergast and Assistant Stage Manager Kate Kilbane.

THE LINCOLN LEGACY PROJECT

The Lincoln Legacy Project is a multi-year effort to create dialogue in our nation’s capital around the issues of tolerance, equality and acceptance. Each fall, a series of town-hall-style meetings, panel discussions, scholar talkbacks, in-depth student workshops and staged readings augment an evocative mainstage production. The Legacy Project began with the Washington premiere of the musical Parade in 2011 and continued in 2012 with Fly, a story of the Tuskegee Airmen. Through a diversity of programming, The Legacy Project is designed to encourage people of differing viewpoints to engage in meaningful and respectful dialogue about diversity and understanding.

The 2013 events for The Lincoln Legacy Project are presented in cooperation with several partner organizations, including the Matthew Shepard Foundation, The Trevor Project, Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL), Facing History and Ourselves, Not in Our Town, Split This Rock, Teaching for Change, the Anti-Defamation League, Southern Poverty Law Center, The DC Center, the Human Rights Campaign, Tectonic Theater Project, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and PFLAG—Metro DC Chapter.

The Lincoln Legacy Project is made possible with support from Founding Sponsor Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. Additional support provided by Gregory Craig; The Pew Charitable Trusts; and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, Harold Holzer, Chairman.

For more information on the 2013 programming schedule for The Lincoln Legacy Project, visit http://www.fords.org/lincoln-legacy-project.

SPECIAL PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS
A Pay What You Can (PWYC) preview performance of The Laramie Project is scheduled for Sunday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Ford’s Theatre box office on the day of performance starting at 5:30 p.m. Limit of two tickets per customer. Cash only. Seating is on a first-come basis.

There will be audio-described performances of The Laramie Project on Saturday, October 12, at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, October 22, at 7:30 p.m. A sign-interpreted performance is scheduled for Thursday, October 17, at 7:30 p.m. A captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, at 2 p.m.

As part of The Lincoln Legacy Project, Ford’s Theatre offers facilitated discussions to interested audience members immediately following each evening performance of The Laramie Project (except October 2 and 11). These 20-minute discussions give audiences an opportunity to engage in a dialogue on the themes and issues raised in the performance. Discussions will be led by facilitators and/or special guests invited to address a specific related topic or theme.

On Thursday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m., Ford’s Theatre hosts a special faith night performance of The Laramie Project. Groups of 15 or more receive a 50 percent discount on performance tickets and admittance to a special post-show discussion about how the faith community can promote tolerance and inclusion. The discussion will feature Dean of Washington National Cathedral Gary Hall. Interested groups should contact the group sales office at (202) 638-2367 or groups@fords.org.

Remembering Matthew Shepard
The weekend of October 11, marks the 15th year since Matthew Shepard died. Proceeds from the 7:30 p.m. performance of The Laramie Project on Friday, October 11 will be donated to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Following the performance, Ford’s Theatre will hold a candlelight vigil for the public.

***

FACT SHEET: THE LARAMIE PROJECT
By Moisés Kaufman and Members of the Tectonic Theater Project
Directed by Matthew Gardiner
September 27-October 27, 2013

The Laramie Project presents a deeply complex portrait of a community’s response to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man living in Laramie, Wyoming. In a series of poignant reflections, the residents of Laramie react to the hate crime and surrounding media storm with anger, bewilderment and sorrow. The play portrays the seismic and deeply personal impact Matthew’s death had on this small town while also demonstrating the power of the human spirit to triumph over bigotry and violence. Fifteen years later, Matthew Shepard’s story still reverberates, urging us on with its clarion call to confront the destructive power of bullying and hate, in all forms. The Laramie Project is the third offering in the multi-year Lincoln Legacy Project—an effort to create dialogue around the issues of tolerance, equality and acceptance.

LOCATION: Ford’s Theatre is located at 511 Tenth Street NW, Washington, D.C. (between E and F Streets).

TIMES: Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. (except September 28 and 29). Sunday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m. Matinees scheduled for 11 a.m. October 10, October 17 and 24.

TICKETS: Tickets to The Laramie Project start at $18. Discounts are available for groups, senior citizens, military personnel and those younger than 35.

ACCESSIBILITY: Ford’s Theatre is accessible to persons with disabilities, offering wheelchair-accessible seating and restrooms and audio enhancement.

A Pay What You Can (PWYC) preview performance of The Laramie Project is scheduled for Sunday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Ford’s Theatre box office on the day of performance starting at 5:30 p.m. Limit of two tickets per customer. Cash only. Seating is on a first-come basis.

There are audio-described performances of The Laramie Project on Saturday, October 12, at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, October 22, at 7:30 p.m. A sign-interpreted performance is scheduled for Thursday, October 17, at 7:30 p.m. A captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, at 2 p.m.

As part of The Lincoln Legacy Project, Ford’s Theatre will offer facilitated discussions to interested audience members immediately following each evening performance of The Laramie Project (except October 2 and 11). These 20-minute discussions give audiences an opportunity to engage in a dialogue on the themes and issues raised in the performance. Discussions will be led by trained facilitators and/or special guests invited to address a specific related topic or theme.

On Thursday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m., Ford’s Theatre hosts a special faith night performance of The Laramie Project. Groups of 15 or more receive a 50 percent discount on performance tickets and admittance to a special post-show discussion about how the faith community can promote tolerance and inclusion. The discussion will feature Dean of Washington National Cathedral Gary Hall. Interested groups should contact the group sales office at (202) 638-2367 or groups@fords.org.

The weekend of October 11, marks the 15th year since Matthew Shepard died. Proceeds from the 7:30 p.m. performance of The Laramie Project on October 11 will be donated to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Following the performance, Ford’s Theatre will hold a candlelight vigil for the public.

Tickets at www.fords.org and Ticketmaster: (800) 982-2787
Information: (202) 347-4833 Groups: (202) 638-2367

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Beyea at lbeyea@fords.org