Anselmian Abbey Players Present "The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later"

November 1, 2016

By Maggie Lynch '17

Saint Anselm College's student theater group, The Anselmian Abbey Players, will return to the Dana Center stage this weekend, performing The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later on November 3, 4, and 5 at 7:30 p.m.

A sequel to the original The Laramie Project, which was performed by the Abbey Players in 2012, Ten Years Later follows the members of the Tectonic Theatre Company as they return to Laramie, Wyoming and the site of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard. The performance aims to demonstrate how Shepard's murder changed the town through the theatre company members' interviews and journals. It features new perspectives including conversations with Matthew's mother, Judy Shepard (who was not a part of the original script), as well as new commentary from murderers Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney.

With a cast of only 12, the fall production features Emily Schomp '18, Brendan Mahoney '18. Jake Miller '18, Tristan Longley '19, and Mark Kelly '17 as the five members of the Tectonic Theatre Company.

"This production is a different style of performance; it is presentational, the fourth wall is broken as audiences are struck by the real words that are spoken. The twelve actors in this show play over 60 different characters as they travel through the town, talking to those involved," says director and English Professor Landis Magnuson.

Thursday's performance will include a panel discussion following the show, in which alumnus Zachary Camenker '16, a member of the 2012 cast, will participate.

Camenker found the original performance of "The Laramie Project" tremendously impactful both on himself and on the college. "For weeks afterward, many people spoke openly of the show and how tremendously it impacted the Saint Anselm College community. I had strangers stop me on the quad or in my travels around campus to thank me for doing my part in telling the story."

"From the actors I've spoken with, they are facing many of the same challenges I did in 2012: feelings of honor for being able to tell this story, but feelings of sadness for having to tell it," he says.