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SUNY Plattsburgh Theater Department Presents "The Laramie Project"

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Feb. 13, 2009)- The SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Theater will present "The Laramie Project," directed by Dr. Timothy Palkovic, professor and chair of the department

The Main Stage production will run March 4-7 at 7:30 p.m. in Hartman Theatre located in the Myers Fine Arts Building. Tickets are available at the door and in advance at the Angell College Center desk. Prices are $10 for general admission; $8, senior citizens, students and SUNY Plattsburgh faculty and staff; and $2, SUNY Plattsburgh students. For information, please call 518-564-2283.

Written by Moises Kaufman and members of The Tectonic Theatre Project, "The Laramie Project" addresses the various issues relating to the tragic death of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man whose violent murder in 1998 has since become a symbol for America's struggle against intolerance. The award-winning play documents the impact of this profound event on the tiny, rural town of Laramie, Wyo. The action unfolds in a series of monologues based on hundreds of interviews conducted after the fatal attack.

The cast of "The Laramie Project" includes just nine students who portray over 70 characters. Students in the cast play more than one character, which can be quite challenging for any actor.

Matt Crawford, a junior from Port Byron, N.Y., majoring in theater, explains, "It is a new experience to juggle all the characters. For example, I play 10 different people. Each character has a distinct voice, physical presence and point of view."

The other eight cast members include two local residents, Jessica Schaefer of Plattsburgh and Tammy Rock of Saranac Lake, along with Kevin Scott, AJ Poole, Jason Spencer, Andy Velez, Danielle Tougas, and Jordan Ellithorpe.

It has been 10 years since "The Laramie Project" premiered.

"What have we learned, and how do we learn hate?" reflects Dr. Palkovic. "What is provocative about this production is that the message transcends the actual event, exploring themes of prejudice and bigotry, tolerance and truth.  Just a few words can plant the seeds of violence."

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