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Students stage pioneering show at Curve theatre


Students from De Montfort University (DMU) are staging a pioneering American theatre production in Leicester’s iconic Curve theatre.

Based on real-life events in the town of Laramie, Wyoming, the production will be brought to life by 13 talented undergraduates of DMU playing 60 roles between them.

The Laramie Project is a collaborative partnership between Curve and DMU and runs in The Studio from Monday 12 – Saturday 17 March.

The project provides an exciting opportunity for the undergraduates to perform a challenging theatrical text on a professional stage.

DMU Drama lecturer Roger Apfelbaum said: “It’s a challenging play and the students are acting and in backstage roles too so it’s an inspiring experience for them which will stand them in good stead for their future careers, and they really are pulling together a top class performance.

“This collaborative partnership between Curve and De Montfort University follows the hugely successful Steven Berkoff plays, Greek and East, which other DMU students staged at Curve last year. Students from across all three years of our Drama and Performing Arts programmes at DMU have been participating in a range of public performances so it’s a hugely exciting time.”

In 1998 Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student, was discovered bound to a fence in the hills outside Laramie, savagely beaten and left to die in an act of brutality that shocked the nation.

At the time, the murder was denounced as a hate crime motivated by homophobia, but for the people of Laramie the event was deeply personal, and it is their voices that are heard in this astonishing piece of theatre.

Writer Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project travelled to Laramie and interviewed hundreds of inhabitants of the town about their reactions to the events and the shattered community spirit.

The cast will portray 60 of these characters – from rural ranchers to university professors – in this moving, true story about the hope, positive change and aspiration of equality that was born from this tragic event.

Cherie Worth, a second year Drama student at DMU and cast member, said: “Being part of this production is a fantastic experience; we are treated as professionals not just students. Working on 'Laramie' is great because we able to explore a true story, and highlight a serious issue in society through a theatrical style.”

DMU student and cast member Kirsty Mealing said: “Working on The Laramie Project has been a real eye-opener for me, and the broad age range of the characters that I play has been very exciting to work with. I aspire to pursue an acting career after university, so working within a professional atmosphere has really made me up my game.”

The production is directed by Cambridge graduate, Josh Seymour. Josh has directed and assisted on numerous productions. As a director, he has worked at Waterloo East Theatre and London Festival Fringe.

This production follows the hugely successful collaboration between Curve and DMU of the Steven Berkoff plays, Greek and East in 2011. Students from across all years of the Drama programmes at DMU are participating in productions.

Information and tickets: 0116 242 3595

Director and Cast interview

Rehearsal Blog

Posted on Friday 9th March 2012

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