The Space Tampa, a LPP group, was recently visited by the Head Writer of The Laramie Project, Leigh Fondakowski. Ms. Fondakowski has been a member of Tectonic Theater Project since 1995. She is also an Emmy nominated co-screenwriter for the adaptation of The Laramie Project for HBO, and a co-writer of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. This is incredibly exciting news to hear, and we can’t wait to see what happens next. We would like to thank Jared O’Roark, director of The Space Tampa, and say how happy we are to work with a theatre artist who believes in theatre’s power to change lives. The Space Tampa will be doing their reading in honor of Jean Carlos Mendez and Eddie Jamoldroy Justice.
Jean’s family is local to the area, and we are honored to be memorializing his life as well as Eddie’s with such a great group.
Could you imagine going a whole day without talking? What if we told you that you could do just that, but that if would also be for a good cause? Since 1996, one day a year in April has been deemed a “Day of Silence”. On such a day, students all over are encouraged to take a vow of silence to represent the mistreatment and silencing of those in the LGBTQ+ community. This year, the Day of Silence will be held tomorrow, April 21. Many schools are involved with the project in an effort to spread awareness of the need to end bullying of LGBT students. We challenge you to support this cause and take the day-long vow of silence in hopes of finding a better tomorrow for the LGBTQ+ community.
April 19-22, 2017 George Washington Patriot Players from George Washington High School in Denver, Colorado puts on their production of The Laramie Project in honor of Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan. We are incredibly excited and honored to hear about their involvement in the Laramie Project Project because Colorado is the farthest LPP has gone across the country so far.
We would like to thank Mr. Scott Hasbrouck, the head of the school’s theatre department, as well as all the actors for being a part of the Laramie Project Project. This school not only captures Matthew’s story beautifully and truthfully, but also takes great pride in honoring the victims of Pulse. Attached below are several production pictures as well as a dedication page the Director put in the program to honor Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan.
As Mr. Hasbrouck states in his director’s note, “This is an incredible group of students who sit at what promises to be a pivotal time in our history. Retelling this story is what they are ready for and what they need to do – to speak out against hate in all its forms. Although I didn’t know a year ago how true this would be. I admire the courage of our students to tell the story and hold up the mirror. It is through their eyes which I look at the future, and they give me hope…H.O.P.E.”
Thank you all for your dedication to LPP and the victim, every one of you gives us HOPE.
On March 16th-18th, another group put its production of The Laramie Project on its feet smack dab in the middle of Flushing, New York. This particular production, hosted at Flushing High School, was able to discuss Laramie’s message of hope, love and compassion with its audience through various talkback sessions. Even Moisés Kaufman, the lead writer of The Laramie Project, was eager to partake in this dialogue, as he was able to visit with their cast during the rehearsal process. To the cast of Flushing High School’s production of Laramie, as well as the wonderful Lindsay Shields, head of the Flushing High School Theatre Department: Thank you for your constant enthusiasm towards our project as you carried the torch. And to whom Flushing High School’s production was dedicated: Angel Luis Candelario-Padro, this one’s for you.
LPP Team Member Dylan Glick
The cast of Flushing High School’s The Laramie Project.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of communicating with Sara Grossman, who is the the Communications Director of The Matthew Shepard Foundation. She is also the Communications Director of The Dru Project.
Sara’s friend from college, Christopher Andrew Leinonen, was a victim of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, along with his partner, Juan Ramon Guerrero. The Dru Project was created in Dru’s honor. This organization is carrying Dru’s name by forwarding compassion for the LGBTQ+ community. Some awesome things the Dru Project has done include raffles for their organization, keynotes at high schools, and creating memorials for Dru, who is remembered as an incredible person, LGBTQ+ activist, and wonderful friend.
On February 24, 2017 the East Brunswick Votech School Gender Sexual Minorities, and Allies Club, along with their theatre department and thespian troupe 8020, in East Brunswick New Jersey, had their performance of The Laramie Project in honor of Stanley Almodovar III. The LPP team would like to thank everyone involved in this production for sharing your art and giving your time to be involved in the LPP. Also, a special thanks to Miss Aladren, advisor and teacher of the MCVTS Theatre, for all the dedication to The Laramie Project Project! And a shout-out to President of the GSMA club, Lauren Cyrus, and VP of the GSMA club, Jose Dominguez.
The EBVT students had a very clever idea that they used on their twitter, @ebvtgsma, to promote their show. Their 10-day photo challenge asked followers to, each day, post a photo that corresponded with the word of the day. All of the words had to do with The Laramie Project–like faith, love, and angels. The LPP team had a fun time participating in this! The students even made art inspired by the show and their experience (pictured below.)
Thank you all so much for giving us all a little more HOPE. With love, LPP Team Members Cassidy and Alyssa