The Crystal Springs Players, the drama group associated with Crystal Springs United Methodist Church in San Mateo, California, has been honored as one of only 149 theater groups across the world to showcase the premiere of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, an Epilogue, by Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris, and Stephen Belber.
All of the performances (including the main performance at Lincoln Center in New York City) will occur on the same day, Monday, October 12. The Players' show will be done as Reader's Theater at 7:30 p.m. and will be a benefit for Not in Our Town and the local chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) - each, a group which fights hate.
When notified of the honor, the Crystal Springs Players was already in rehearsal for the original The Laramie Project, to be performed in mid-November, so a cast was already assembled. This is the Players' 16th year of producing high quality drama and comedy for the community, as well as skits and plays for worship.
The original play is a dramatization of interviews done by the Tectonic Theater Project after the murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay student in Laramie, Wyoming - a crime which made national news. The Project interviewed many of the people who knew Matthew or who were associated with the events surrounding the murder.
The epilogue focuses on the long term effects the murder of Matthew Shepard had on the town of Laramie. It explores how the town has changed and how the murder continues to reverberate in the community. Some of the original characters were re-interviewed, and new interviews were conducted, as well, including an interview with one of the murderers.
The original play has been well received in theaters across the country for many years and the epilogue promises to be as compelling as the original. The writers do an excellent job of depicting the thoughts and attitudes of the people of Laramie after the murder. (For more information about the two plays visit www.laramieproject.org.)
The special one-time performance of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, an Epilogue is expected to be a sell-out, so reservations are suggested.
Admission is by donation. $20 is suggested, but if that is a hardship, a lesser donation will be welcome.
The original play, The Laramie Project, will be performed as the Crystal Springs Players' fall show: Friday, November 13 (with a gala); Sunday, November 15 at 7 p.m.; and on Nov. 14, 19, 20, and 21 at 8:00 p.m.
Ticket prices vary: Regular/Senior/Student $16/$14/$12; Groups $12; Gala show $20; Thurs. Nov. 19 show $10.
Call Crystal Springs UMC at 650-345-2381 to reserve your tickets for either show.
The church is located at 2145 Bunker Hill Drive, San Mateo, CA 94402.
[In photo above, by Barbara Williams (director): Front Row, from left, Anastasiya Smetanina, Kalena Coleman, Sarah Schultz, Etienne Vick, Cheryl Pierson, and Morgan Manos; Back Row, from left, Todd Wees, Anastasia Mandeville, and Mark Cappel.]