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Laramie Project Opens at SMC Dec. 2: Photo by Judy Louff

The Santa Monica College Theatre Arts Department will present The Laramie Project, the ground-breaking drama that chronicles the aftermath of the brutal murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard outside Laramie, Wyoming.

The pioneering theatrical piece by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project will be presented Fridays through Sundays, Dec. 2-11. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m. and Sunday performances at 1 p.m.

An additional matinee at 1 p.m. will be played on Saturday, Dec. 10. Matthew Shepard Day is Dec. 1.

The Laramie Project chronicles life in Laramie in the year following the murder of Shepard on October 7, 1998. Each actor plays several roles, to portray more than 60 different people, from rural ranchers to university professors.

The piece is based on interviews with townspeople done by Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project, who made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half and conducted more than 200 interviews. Out of that material, a complex drama was made that dispels the simplistic media stereotypes.

The Laramie Project was made into an HBO film several years ago.

The play will be presented at the Hangar Stage, located at SMC’s Airport Campus, 2800 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica. Parking is free.Tickets are $11 and $8 for students and senior citizens. Call (310) 434-4393.

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