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November 02, 2005

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Publication Date: Wednesday, November 02, 2005

'The Laramie Project' examines community's complicity in crime 'The Laramie Project' examines community's complicity in crime (November 02, 2005)

Menlo School's Drama Department will stage "The Laramie Project," Moises Kaufman's docudrama about a small town coming face to face with its own culpability in the wake of a tragic murder.

The play opens Thursday, November 3, at 7:30 p.m. as a Katrina Hurricane benefit, and continues with performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday, November 4-6, in Florence Moore Auditorium on the school campus, 50 Valparaiso Ave. in Atherton. A matinee also is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, November 5.

"The Laramie Project" is about the 1998 beating and murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student in Laramie, Wyoming. It's based on more than 200 interviews of residents of the town, conducted by the Tectonic Theatre Company of New York City, which traveled to Laramie.

"Everyone in the play has a point of view, and everyone has something to say," said Elizabeth Orr, Menlo drama teacher and the play's director. "Views on Shepard's murder are filled with subtle and sometimes overt views on homosexuality."

Ms. Orr said she chose the play because "it's a contemporary, serious exploration of the high price we can pay for intolerance, anger and hatred against any group that we do not belong to.

"It's my hope that the play will encourage people to reflect on what they can do to be part of the solution and not the problem."

In the cast are seniors Iris Alden and Donnell Tachis, both of Menlo Park, and Evan Tenenbaum of San Mateo; juniors Lesley Stauffer-Green of Millbrae and Kevin Greene of Foster City; sophomores Faz Abbasi and Mallory Owen of Atherton, Jill Hagey of Burlingame and Dustin Ruttenberg of Redwood City; and freshmen Amy Wipfler of Menlo Park and Anne Hawkins of Atherton.

Tickets -- at $7 for students and $10 for adults -- will be available at the door before each performance or by calling 330-2001, ext. 2333.

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