University of Scranton Players to present ‘The Laramie Project’

Rehearsing for The University of Scranton Players’ production of ‘The Laramie Project,’ which will run Oct. 12-14 and 19-21 are, from left, Holly Ferrence, Catherine Karpiak, Jim Shygelski, Dalton Gorden, Matthew Valunas, Nicholas Yanni, Shaye Santos, Ali Basalyga, Samantha Gurn, and Peter Sims. - Submitted photo

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, Fridays through Sundays, Oct. 12-14 and 19-21. Performances will take place 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 20 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.

The production features Ali Basalyga of Scranton; Shaye Santos of Wrightstown, New Jersey; Holly Ferrence of Harding; Samantha Gurn of Brackney; Catherine Karpiak of Scranton; Jim Shygelski of Scranton; Peter Sims of Yardley; Nicholas Yanni of Scranton; Matthew Valunas of Dunmore; and Dalton Gorden of Taylor. 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.

Tickets may be purchased or reserved by calling the box office inside the McDade Center at 570-941-4318 or online at thescrantonplayers.com. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for senior citizens, students and University of Scranton faculty and staff. Second weekend performances are free for first-year University students.

For more information, contact [email protected]

Rehearsing for The University of Scranton Players’ production of ‘The Laramie Project,’ which will run Oct. 12-14 and 19-21 are, from left, Holly Ferrence, Catherine Karpiak, Jim Shygelski, Dalton Gorden, Matthew Valunas, Nicholas Yanni, Shaye Santos, Ali Basalyga, Samantha Gurn, and Peter Sims.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_UPlayersFull-Cast.jpgRehearsing for The University of Scranton Players’ production of ‘The Laramie Project,’ which will run Oct. 12-14 and 19-21 are, from left, Holly Ferrence, Catherine Karpiak, Jim Shygelski, Dalton Gorden, Matthew Valunas, Nicholas Yanni, Shaye Santos, Ali Basalyga, Samantha Gurn, and Peter Sims. Submitted photo