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Summer Theatre Production Returns to Stage

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NEW PALTZ -- The successful New Paltz Summer Repertory Theatre production of "The Laramie Project" is scheduled for a reurn engagement on August 22-24. The play by Moisés Kaufman and member of Tectonic Theatre Project examines the Matthew Shepard murder.

The SUNY New Paltz production was widely praised by area newspapers. Kitty Montgomery of the Daily Freeman called it "A powerful and beautiful production as theater goes, 'The Laramie Project' ranks as high church." Jay Blotcher writing for the Ulster Publishing Almanac said, "Every character is forged with dignity and conviction." Fernando Valdivia of the Times Herald-Record calls it "A compelling production 13 talented actors rate a standing ovation ."

The Department of Theatre Arts was particularly interested in bringing this production back at the beginning of the fall semester so that the college community would have the opportunity to see this important and provocative play.

The story behind "The Laramie Project" is well known: In the fall of 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was picked up in a Wyoming bar by two young men, driven out of town, brutally beaten, and left to die. The case earned national headlines for months, but Kaufman's examination of the crime goes beyond the sensational events, focusing instead on the townspeople of Laramie, Wyoming, and their shifting views toward homosexuality, education, class, violence, and the differences between tolerance and acceptance.

"The Laramie Project" is performed August 22 at 7pm, August 23 at 8pm, and August 24 at 2pm.

Special ticket prices will be in effect for this return engagement. Student tickets for the Friday, August 22, performance are $4. Student tickets on Saturday and Sunday are $8. General admission tickets for all performances are $14; senior citizen and SUNY faculty and staff tickets for all performances are $12.

Beginning Wednesday, August 20, the box office is open from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is also open one hour before show time. Call 845-257-3880. McKenna Theatre is wheelchair accessible and equipped with an assisted listening system for the hearing impaired. The Web address images is