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On October 12, more than 120 theater companies around the country will host performances of the Laramie Project: 10 Years Later. In Minnesota, the Guthrie Theater, the Duluth Playhouse, the Phoenix Theatre in Red WIng, and the Blake School in Hopkins, will perform a reading that examines Laramie, Wyo., ten years after the murder of Matthew Shepard.

10 years later, Moisés Kaufman and members of Tectonic Theater Project returned to Laramie to find out what has happened over the last 10 years. Has Matthew’s murder had a lasting impact on that community? How has the town changed as a result of this event? What does life in Laramie tell us about life in America 10 years later? And how is history being rewritten to tell a new story of Matthew Shepard’s murder, one that changes the motivation of his killers from homophobia to a “drug deal gone bad” despite all evidence to the contrary?

The event is a reading of interviews conducted in Laramie in June 2008, a reflection of the powerful play, and soon HBO movie, that featured interviews from Laramie in the months following Shepard’s murder.

The Guthrie reading will be directed by Associate Director of Studio Programming Benjamin McGovern and feature actors Mark Benninghofen, Michael Booth, Bob Davis, Melissa Hart, Charity Jones, Tracey Maloney, Kris L. Nelson and Michelle O’Neill. Following the reading, there will be a panel featuring the key individuals involved in The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later through a satellite uplink.

Tickets are $15 and available through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at www.guthrietheater.org.

In Duluth, the Duluth Playhouse will host a similar reading featuring members from Working Class Theater, students from Hermantown, and the Duluth Playhouse, who have read at the original readings over the last nine years: Dan Averitt, Nathan Carlblom, Pat Catellano, Allison Hartl, Jody Kujawa, Priscilla Manisto, Carrie Mohn, Kelly Mullan, Katina Petsoulis, John Schmidt, Jack Setterland, Cheryl Skafte, Kevin Walsh and Amanda Wenberg.

It begins at 7 pm and tickets are $10 suggested donation, but no one will be turned away if they cannot pay. Proceeds will benefit Together for Youth a local organization that provides support and safety to LGBTQ teens in the Northland. Reservations can be made by calling the Duluth Playhouse Box Office at 218-733-7555.

The Phoenix Theatre production will be held at the Sheldon Theatre of Performing Arts in Red Wing at 7 pm with an encore reading on Oct. 17th at 7 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Proceeds will benefit PFLAG which is producing the performance, and Goodhue Wabasha Sexual Assault Services.

At the Blake School in Hopkins, fourteen Blake students and staff will present the reading at 7 pm. It’s sponsored by The Blake School Gay Straight Alliance and all proceeds will go to the nonprofit Avenues for Homeless Youth. Tickets are $5 and can be reserved by calling Blake’s theater box office at (952) 988-3822.

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