Scranton Players Present 'The Laramie Proj...

    Rehearsing are: Holly Ferrence (orange sweater), Catherine Karpiak (green dress), Jim Shygelski (hat), Matthew Valunas (maroon shirt), Dalton Gorden (white button down), Shaye Santos (pink blazer), Nicholas Yanni (striped shorts), Ali Basalyga (white tank top), Samantha Gurn, and Peter Sims.
    September 26, 2018
    By: Victoria Pennington '19

    The University of Scranton Players will present “The Laramie Project” by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project, directed by Bob E. Gasper, Oct. 12-14 and 19-21. Performances run in the Royal Theatre in the Joseph M. McDade Center for Literary and Performing Arts. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m., and Sunday shows begin at 2 p.m.

    “The Laramie Project” recalls the aftermath of the brutal murder of 21-year-old college student Matthew Shepard through interviews of the residents of Laramie, Wyoming, conducted by the Tectonic Theatre Project. Shepard was beaten to death for being gay in the outskirts of Laramie. His death sparked outrage in communities across the nation and led to landmark hate crime legislation named in his honor.

    This year marks twenty years since Shepard’s murder. The Players plan to honor his memory by opening their production on the day of his death. Additionally, the Players will host post-show discussions after both Saturday performances to offer an open space where people can explore and process Shepard’s story. Kaufman’s play premiered at the Ricketson Theatre in Denver in February 2000. The play was later turned into an Emmy-nominated HBO film. “The Laramie Project” remains a groundbreaking piece of theatre that continually invites us to interrogate who we are, as a community.

    The production features Ali Basalyga of Scranton; Shaye Santos of Wrightstown, N.J.; Holly Ferrence of Harding, Pa.; Samantha Gurn of Brackney, Pa.; Catherine Karpiak of Scranton; Jim Shygelski of Scranton; Peter Sims of Yardley, Pa.; Nicholas Yanni of Scranton; Matthew Valunas of Dunmore, Pa.; and Dalton Gorden of Taylor, Pa. The cast features graduates from local schools including West Scranton High School, Scranton Preparatory School, Wyoming Area Secondary Center, Dunmore High School, Montrose High School, and Wyoming Seminary. Director Bob Gasper is also a graduate of West Scranton High School.

    For tickets, contact the Players box office at 570-941-4318 or visit us at Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for senior citizens, students, and University of Scranton faculty and staff. Second weekend is free for first-year students.

    The University of Scranton Players is an academic theatre program that brings exceptional theatre to Northeastern Pennsylvania every season. The Players’ productions feature University of Scranton students in a mix of classical and contemporary works under the direction and mentorship of award-winning faculty and guest artists.

    For more information, contact or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    • alt placeholderDalton Gorden, Peter Sims, and Shaye Santos.
    • alt placeholderHolly Ferrence (orange sweater), Catherine Karpiak (green dress), Jim Shygelski (hat), Dalton Gorden (white button down), Matthew Valunas (maroon shirt), Nicholas Yanni (striped shorts), Shaye Santos (pink blazer), Ali Basalyga (white tank top), Samantha Gurn, and Peter Sims.
    Victoria is a strategic communication major.
    Victoria is a strategic communication major.
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