Winter production ‘The Laramie Project’ explores Matthew Shepard murder

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Portland Community College’s Theatre Arts Program is proud to present the play “The Laramie Project” from March 9-10 and March 15-18 at the Sylvania Campus Performing Arts Center.

This production is told from the viewpoint of those impacted by the 1998 murder of University of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard in the city of Laramie, Wyo. Shepard was beaten, tortured and left tied to a fence post outside of the town by two men, which many say was motivated by Shepard’s sexual orientation. The story garnered national attention and spurred the creation of the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act that makes it a federal crime to assault an individual because of sexual orientation or gender identity.l

“We chose ‘The Laramie Project’ because despite the advances made in LGBTQ rights since the play was first produced, the judgmental and intolerant attitudes reflected in the play have resurfaced in our times.” said Patrick Tangredi, program director. “PCC Theatre Arts Program is an educational theatre and the dialogue we hope to promote with our audience is sorely needed.”

Devised directly from interviews completed by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project, this play is told from the view of those involved after Shepard was murdered. The show pokes and prods at the world of biased mindsets and encourages people to think about the person more than their sexuality or gender identity.

The 13-person cast will be portraying multiple roles and is entirely comprised of students from the PCC Theatre Arts Program. The show will be guest directed by three-time Drammy award-winning director Jessica Wallenfels and runs just over two hours with two brief intermissions. Due to mature themes and language, the subject matter may not be suitable for all ages.

General admission tickets are $10 and $5 for students, seniors and veterans. On Thursday, March 18, guests can pay-what-you-will. Tickets can be purchased at the PCC Bookstore at the PCC box office, one hour before curtain.

Performance Dates and Times:

  • 7 p.m., Friday March 9.
  • 7 p.m., Saturday, March 10.
  • 11 a.m., Thursday, March 15 (pay what you wish matinee).
  • 7 p.m., Friday, March 16.
  • 7 p.m., Saturday, March 17 (sign language interpretation).
  • 2 p.m., Sunday, March 18.

For more information about the show or PCC’s Theatre Program, visit

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