Press Release Title
For More Information Contact:
Donald W. Kohler
Vice-President of Marketing & Public Relations
2700 College Rd. Box 4-C
Council Bluffs, IA 51502
(712) 325-3262 or 1-800-432-5852, ext. 3262
March 17, 2014
Theatre Department Presents "The Laramie Project"
Council Bluffs, Iowa - The Iowa Western Community College Theatre Department is pleased to present “The Laramie Project” by Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project. The play will be held in the Arts Center located on the college’s Council Bluffs campus with performances April 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12 at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee April 6 at 2:00 p.m.  Tickets can be reserved by calling the IWCC Arts Center box office at (712) 388-7140. Ticket prices are $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and seniors.

“The Laramie Project” is a profoundly moving and controversial play based on the October 1998 kidnapping and murder of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay man who was severely beaten and left to die tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. Five weeks after the murder, Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project travelled to Laramie and, over the course of the next year, conducted more than 200 interviews with people of the town. From these interviews they wrote the play “The Laramie Project,” a chronicle of the life of the town of Laramie in the year after the murder. Premiering in 2000, “The Laramie Project” is one of the most performed plays in America today and has been instrumental in creating a platform for conversation about gay and human rights.

“This cast of actors has been profoundly affected by the play and have spoken about the insights it gives us into human suffering,” commented Iowa Western theatre program chair and director Moira Mangiameli.  “The Laramie Project has important lessons to teach us about the damage bigotry and hatred can do--is still doing every day, everywhere—and about what it truly means to love your fellow man.”

An after-show talk-back session with Matthew Shepard Foundation representative Susan Burke will be held following the opening night performance on April 3.  Burke assists professional companies, colleges and universities, high schools, community theatres and religious groups with services including media resources, historical background and context, creative consultation, and building education curriculum.  Burke has worked with productions of “The Laramie Project” all across the United States, as well as Canada, Australia, France and the United Kingdom. She works in collaboration with the shows’ creators, Tectonic Theatre Project, and travels to different communities to lead post-show discussions, teach and serve as a panelist for related community-wide discussions on how to create a more civil, compassionate and just world. 

In addition, a special high school night is scheduled for April 10 and will include tours, a workshop on creating a play based on current events, tickets to see the play, and a talk-back session with the directors and cast. For information on the workshop please contact Moira Mangiameli at 712-325-3409.

The cast includes:

Council Bluffs:  Timothy Mantil, Danielle Meadows, Nichole Seizys, Kimberly Ralls

Beebeetown, Iowa:   Allison Davis

Harlan, Iowa:  Trey Nielsen

Missouri Valley, Iowa:  Emily Conant

Sioux City, Iowa:  Lakyn Gosnell

Shelby, Iowa:  Taylor Baggett

Omaha, Neb.:  Blair Chambers, Patricia Higgins, Zach Mahloch, Michael Mitilier

Bellevue, Neb.:  Thomas Bennett, Matt Miller

Denver, Colo.:  Dan Luethke