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Racine Theatre Guild’s Virtual Production of “The Laramie Project”
July 23 - August 6
The Racine Theatre Guild’s (RTG) community-wide production of “The Laramie Project” will be available to stream on-demand anytime between Friday, July 23 and Friday, August 6. The virtual performance is not quite a play, yet not a film either. It is a multimedia presentation that pays tribute to Matthew Shepard.
In October 1998, the nation was gripped by the story of Matthew Shepard’s brutal murder in Laramie, Wyoming. A victim of a violent homophobic hate crime, members of the Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Wyoming wanting to learn more about Matthew, Laramie, and the reality of violence and prejudice, conducting over 200 interviews in the year that followed. They compiled what they learned into a shocking, challenging, and moving play that explores the lowest depths of hatred and greatest heights of compassion.
The RTG’s virtual production has united the community to share this story and create something positive. With nearly 100 community and cast members involved, these performances were filmed in a way to keep everyone healthy and safe.
“We were really looking for chance to bring the community together through a different form of theatre,” director Douglas Instenes shared. “It became a great way to bring life and art together, with some of the play roles mirroring the real-life roles of community members. Like retired Circuit Court Judge Emily Mueller portraying the trial judge, Racine bar owner JJ McAuliffe playing Laramie bar owner Matt Mickelson, and Reverend Dr. Tony Larsen as Unitarian Minister Stephen Mead Johnson.”
“Our volunteers all felt it was an important story to tell,” Instenes added. “After a year and a half without live theatre, they were excited to lend their time and talents to make this production possible, both in front of and behind the camera.”
Cast members include Jason Aaron, Jen Adamski, Kristin Althoff, Dani Anderegg, Greg Anderegg, Madeleine Anderlik, Ian Anderson, Bob Benson, Carter Benson, Connor Benson, Greg Berg, Kathy Berg, Dave Blank, Zak Butler, Nic Cicerale, Michael Clickner, Rayven Craft, Hunter D’Acquisto, Douglas Despin, Marcee Doherty-Elst, Andrew Dorst, Kara Ernst-Schalk, Barb Farrar, Meghan Flynn, Juliana Garcia-Malacara, Kimberly Gibson, Tim Graves, Ellie Hammond, Lauren Haumersen, Nicholas Hoyt, Lauren Instenes, Clay Johnson, Kyle Johnson, Trevor Jung, Rebecca Kishline, Katie Kowbel, Herschel Kruger, Tony Larsen, Jennifer Larsen, Anthony Lazalde, Mona Lewis, George Mangold, Paul Marquez, Father Ricardo Martin, Cory Mason, Jane Matenaer, JJ McAuliffe, Barbi McGuire, Norgie Metzinger, Anne Mollerskov, Joe Mooney, Emily Mueller, Logan Muñoz, Parker Muñoz, Greta Neubauer, Wally Rendon, Frank Russ, Lori Russ, Steen Sanderhoff, Mike Shelby, Ryan Simonsen, Anna Marie Smetana, Dave Smetana, Isabella Smetana, Matt Specht, Nathan Stamper, Stefanie Stamper, John Strack, Kevin Sustachek, Samantha Sustachek, John Swallow, JR Trimark, Brian Van Schyndel, Melissa Warner, Paul Weir, Eric Welch, Robbyn Wilks, and Jenna Zeihen.
Included at the end of the stream will be a talkback with Instenes and Barb Fararr, executive director for the LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin. They will be discussing some of the important themes brought up throughout the play. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the production will go to support the LGBT Center.
Tickets are $18 for individuals or $25 for household viewing. Starting Wednesday, July 21, audience members can purchase tickets to stream the production on-demand anytime Friday, July 23 through Friday, August 6. Their ticket will include a link to the stream and a special code to enter to watch the production. Tickets can be purchased online through www.racinetheatre.org. “The Laramie Project” contains adult content and language throughout the play. Call (262) 633-4218 or stop by the box office Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 to 4 p.m. for additional information.