Clocktower Players Present Groundbreaking “Laramie Project” October 12, 13, 20, and 21 in Irvington

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By Gregory Allen – 

October 12 will mark 20 years since 21-year-old Matthew Shepard was robbed, brutally beaten, and left for dead — tied to a fence for 18 hours — outside of Laramie, Wyoming. Since then, Shepard, who was gay, has become an emblem of hate crime awareness, tolerance, and the LGBT community, in part due to the incredible work that the Matthew Shepard Foundation has done over the past two decades to help eradicate hate.

Key to Matthew Shepard’s legacy was when, one month later in November of 1998, ten New Yorkers set out to Laramie to explore the town and learn more about this hideous crime. After interviewing more than 200 residents, they created a deeply moving play about bigotry, tolerance, fear, courage, hate, and hope.

Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project propelled all of these topics into the mindset of Americans, helping shape the way many view the LGBT community. The Laramie Project has since played around the country, an HBO movie version was produced in 2002, and people of all ages have been introduced to Matthew Shepard and his story.

After presenting musicals for decades, Clocktower Players in Irvington has chosen The Laramie Project for their 2018-2019 season to commemorate the anniversary of Shepard’s death, with opening night on October 12th (the performance will run for two weekends). While people frequently immerse themselves in theater to escape what is happening in the world, Clocktower believes this story of hope and love is poignantly uplifting during these divisive times in our country.

“It’s unfortunate that this play is extremely relevant now,” said director George H. Croom. “A lot of the themes in this 20-year-old play are still in our news every day. However, there is joy and hope in The Laramie Project that audiences in 2018 greatly need.”

Clocktower Players have joined the Erase Hate Campaign taking place during this LGBT History Month. The play’s cast and Westchester community have shared photos of what they will do to help erase hate. (https://www.facebook.com/ClocktowerPlayersInc/videos/2149687291768701/)

“I was amazed at the amount of people that have taken time to respond with a photo and word, and the video views keep mounting,” producer Cagle McDonald said. “One that surprised and touched my heart was ‘protect.’ I loved so many, though: Tolerance, educate, inspire, vote, spread kindness.”

While working on this show, cast members of all ages have had a chance to examine not only the history, but also where the world stands today on the topics reflected in the play. They have shared what they can do today to help erase hate and are hopeful that audiences will leave the production asking themselves what they can do as well.

Performed by Clocktower Players’ Adult Troupe, the cast includes: Alicia Bella, Harry Cooper, Elizabeth DiMeo, Donna Fox, Crystal Gonzalez, Tony Gordon, Zach LeClair, Paul Naclerio, Mark J. Parker, Clinton Powell, Larry Reina, and Julia Rust. The play is directed by George H. Croom and produced by Cagle McDonald.

A percentage of the profits from these performances will go to the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

The show runs October 12, 13, 20, and 21. Tickets can be purchased in advance at http://www.irvingtontheater.com.

Advance online ticket purchases are less expensive than at the door. Group rates are available by inquiring at the box office (914.591.6602/e-mail: boxoffice@irvingtonny.gov).

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